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Even Tough Girls Wear Tutus: Inside the World of a Woman Born in Prison Paperback – December 14, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Cell 7 Media (December 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1887345507
  • ISBN-13: 978-1887345507
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,533,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Out of the depths of her pain and eventual acceptance, Deborah created not only this ruggedly honest book (which entranced me--I read it in one gulp), but also some creative and important projects...." --PsychCentral, Even Tough Girls Wear Tutus: Deborah Jiang Stein's Story

"...mesmerized by this book. It's beautiful and harrowing and brave...the agility and strength of the human spirit, but not in a precious way. It's evocative, fierce and tender.
The strength of Jiang Stein's writing is her ability to put me right there in her scenes. I held my breath..."
--Judy Clement Wall, Used Furniture Review

About the Author

Deborah Jiang Stein is founder of the nonprofit, The unPrison Project (www.theunprisonproject.org) serving women and girls in prisons.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
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4 star
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4%
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See all 26 customer reviews
I could hardly put the book down until I finished it!
A. Freeman
Yet one filled with raw emotion, determination, living loving, hard heart lessons, and saving graces along the way.
Connie Mashburn
The prose flows flawlessly with a plot that is well thought out and clearly the work of an accomplished author.
Elizabeth Geitz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kate Maloy on January 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just finished this book two nights ago, staying up much too late to do so, and I am still thinking about it. The author, born in prison, addicted to heroin, and taken from her birth mother at a year old, never knew who she was, growing up. Her adoptive parents were Jewish, scholarly, and unprepared for the wild, rebellious, risk-taking, brown-skinned, Asian-eyed stranger in their orderly life and home. Something was always missing from Deborah's very core, and that something was the truth of her nature and her soul. She was weaned off of heroin before she could say the word, but she got hooked again, on other drugs, at a very young age. Throughout her teens and twenties she got into trouble, she ran away, she acted out, she played fast and loose with her own welfare and her deepest yearnings, but she never let herself out of the prison of her own making--emotional lockdown, a refusal to be loved. And then she turned it around with astonishing courage. I have a new hero in Deborah Jiang Stein, for the risks she takes now are about telling the whole truth all the time--to herself, about herself, and in order to free herself and find the joy, love, and generosity in the powerful energy that has more than once put her very life at risk. She uses this energy for immense good and in doing so she has escaped all her prisons.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S.C. on January 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With the same universal feminine curiosity that led Eve to take her fateful bite of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, so a young Deborah Jiang Stein broke a family taboo and opened a drawer to her own history and destiny. A tale of waywardness and lostness, of courage, flair, and redemption, this book prances right into our hearts and the lives of women and men yearning to break free of prisons both literal and symbolic. Ms. Jiang Stein's story is tragic and funny, distressing and inspiring, written with such spare and elegant craft that it takes the breath away in artistry alone. Five stars and then some!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ProfBreeWill on January 20, 2012
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For the last 3 1/2 hours, I feel like I've been sitting at my dining room table with a sister-friend eating fried chicken and collards (or noodles w/butter) laughing and crying as she tells me one hell of a story.

My younger self wanted to play with Little Debbie because she and I could've wreaked some serious mischievous havoc on the neighborhood.

I loved and identified with pistol-packing Deborah's swag and fearlessness - even if she's shaking on the inside - because I see so much of my rebel self in her.

And if I ever cross paths with today's tough-girl-tutu-wearing Deborah in person, I'd want to give Little Debbie a hug because out of everything you've experienced, I still sense the little girl in you simply needs and wants those hugs you missed out on.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ReadingGrrl on January 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
Deborah Jiang Stein's story could be tragic instead its empowering, it could be depressing, instead its uplifting. I finished this book in a few hours because I couldn't put it down. Brutally honest and unapologetic Deborah tells the story of finding out as a young girl that her birth mother gave birth to her while in prison and how she lived in a foster home before she came to live with her adoptive family. This information colors Deborah's life from that point forward. From her spiral into drug and alcohol addiction, drug running and petty crimes to getting sober, reconciling with her family and creating a fabulous life with two kids and a career not only as an author but a speaker and supporter of women in prison.

Deborah was adopted by a white Jewish family in the 1960's while segregation was still alive and well. She doesn't know what race she is, but she knows she isn't white. Her parents thought ignoring her differences were best as well as ignoring her past. They didn't know any better. Her parents were renegades, adopting a multi-racial child before it was acceptable, they were in academia and outsiders due to their religion. All these things could have led Deborah to remain a bitter and angry person but she has reconciled her past seen the gifts her parents have given her and uses them to inspire her children and the women she speaks with in prison. A wonderful uplifting novel of redemption, forgiveness and finding peace within yourself.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Kelsall on January 27, 2012
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Deborah made me take the journey with her. I have never been in Prison and never want to be. I am the good girl who wanted to rebel and I did that while reading her book. I could relate well to the child and Adult she has become. I cried, laughed and was shocked and I couldn't put the book down. It was my first ebook I have read and the first book I have read in 7 years that I managed to do in 2 days books normally take me months due to busy life!~ Well done Deborah not only for sharing a heartfelt story and taking me with you in your journey towards peace. It is a journey and the destination hasn't been arrived at yet!
Keep writing and I look forward to reading more. HUgs Ruth in New Zealand :)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Donna Nassor on January 25, 2012
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I read Deborah Jiang Stein's amazing book yesterday. Fearlessly, she has opened herself up and shared the deepest most intimate part of who she is. I woke up this morning thinking about how her willingness to share her life through her writing, her foundation, and her public speaking has the potential to transform lives. She openly and honestly shares with the reader more than most of us are willing to. From her birth in prison, her addiction, foster care, adoption, letting go of family secrets, finding her own truths, motherhood, and on and on offer something each of us can identify with in one way or another. As a former criminal defense attorney and guardian for children in foster care, I spent years working with human beings struggling to find their way. Deborah is an important example of how miracles do happen. She gives us all inspiration and hope that no matter what cards we are dealt there is always a way to work through it, learn, grow, change and also help others do the same. Please read this book and then tell others about it.
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More About the Author

Deborah Jiang Stein is a keynote speaker, writer, and founder of The unPrison Project (www.unprisonproject.org) a 501(c)3 nonprofit working to empower and inspire incarcerated women and girls with life skills and mentoring to plan and prepare for a successful life after prison. She is the author of the memoir, PRISON BABY (Beacon Press.) This is the first book chosen for the One Read Program in the prison system: Behind Books not Bars Program (http://bit.ly/1f3rSLo.)

www.deborahstein.com


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