Recommended by Amy Cheney
A deeply personal and inspiring memoir recounting one woman's struggles--beginning with her birth in prison--to find self-acceptance
Even at twelve years old Deborah Jiang Stein, the adopted daughter of a progressive Jewish couple in Seattle, felt like an outsider. Her multiracial features set her apart from her well-intentioned white parents, who evaded questions about her past. But when Deborah discovered a letter revealing the truth--that she was born in prison to a heroin-addicted mother and spent the first year of her life there--she spiraled into emotional lockdown. For years she turned to drugs, violence, and crime as a way to cope with her grief. Ultimately, Deborah overcame the stigma, shame, and secrecy of her birth and found peace by helping others--proving that redemption and acceptance is possible, even from the darkest corners.
Praise For Prison Baby
“The ways this woman discovers herself, via the revelation of her birth mother and her reconciliation with her adoptive mother, show us how dramatically different worlds intersect, and why those intersections are so important to who we are… A powerful story.”
—Piper Kerman, author of Orange Is the New Black
"Thank you for emerging the kind and whole person your words make clear you are."
“Deborah Jiang Stein has beaten the cycle of intergenerational incarceration, despite the odds against her—multiracial, born in a federal prison to a heroin-addicted mother. Her story offers hope to the possibility of personal transformation for anyone.”
—Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking and Pulitzer Prize nominee
"A harrowing, heartfelt glittering diamond of a memoir that shows being born in prison does not have to imprison the spirit. Gloriously alive and important."
—Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Is This Tomorrow
About the Author: Deborah Jiang Stein is a national speaker, writer, and founder of The unPrison Project, 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.
© 2012 Colorado State Library