Interview with Staceyann ChinOctober, 2009
SS: How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
SC: Jamaican-born woman, activist, writer, performer, New Yorker.
SS: What is your motto or maxim?
SC: If we do not speak, who will?
What Readers want to know...
SS: How would you describe perfect happiness?
SC: A good book- or a good episode of Law & Order, or a good, sad movie. A cold night. Hot tea- maybe a glass of red wine. Someone who is comfortable with both silence and noise. Repeat throughout my life.
SS: What’s your greatest fear?
SC: Being left; it doesn't get better as I age. Being left sucks.
SS: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
SC: At home, with a little person who calls me mummy.
SS: With whom in history do you most identify?
SC: A long list of women who have struggled with issues of race, sex, class; Zora Neale Hurston, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Nanny of the Maroons, Virginia Woolfe, Nina Simone...the list is endless.
SS: Which living person do you most admire?
SC: Too many to list. Alice Walker. Dorothy Allison. Frances Goldin. Bell Hooks.
SS: What are your most overused words or phrases?
SC: Negotiate. Navigate. Notion. With particiular reference to...
SS: What do you regret most?
SC: I regret moments where I have been unkind to people. I try to go back and apologize for those moments when I can.
SS: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
SC: To see into hearts.
SS: What is your greatest achievement?
SC: Remaining sane.
SS: What’s your greatest flaw?
SC: I can be inflexible if I think I am right- which may be too often.
SS: What’s your best quality?
SC: I am forgiving- and quick to apologize.
SS: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
SC: A well written book.
SS: What trait is most noticeable about you?
SC: I'm argumentative.
SS: Who is your favorite fictional hero?
SC: Anne of Green Gables, Harry Potter...
SS: Who is your favorite fictional villain?
SS: If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
SC: I would ask Harriet Tubman how she managed to keep going- no matter the black-out spells, the dogs they sent, the unwilling and frightened slaves- she kept going. I would want to know how she stayed on course.
SS: What is your biggest pet peeve?
SC: Food garbage in my bedroom or office garbage can.
SS: What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
SC: Playing scrabble. I can do that for hours.
SS: What’s your fantasy profession?
SC: For brief moments I wonder what it would be like to be a waitress on a highway restaurant. I would love the cast of characters I might meet on an average day.
SS: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
SC: Loyalty, honesty, and kindness.
SS: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
SS: What are your 5 favorite songs?
SC: Hmmm. Too many to list. I like angsty, radical women like Ani Difranco, and Tracy Chapman. I like vulnerable boys singers like John Mayer, Peter Cetera and Prince. I like boy bands like Collective Soul, and Smashing Pumpkins. I like risky passionate singers like Tina Turner and Nina Simone.
Get more on Staceyann Chin at SimonandSchuster.com