Laughing in the Dark: From Colored Girl to Woman of Color--A Journey from Prison to Power

Overview

An award-winning Washington Post reporter explores the twisted path she traveled to find her place as a confident black female in a world that values whiteness and maleness. Here is a rich and insightful story of a life lived on the edge by a woman formerly preoccupied with pleasing everyone but herself.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Laughing in the Dark: From Colored Girl to Woman of Color--A Journey from Prison to Power

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Overview

An award-winning Washington Post reporter explores the twisted path she traveled to find her place as a confident black female in a world that values whiteness and maleness. Here is a rich and insightful story of a life lived on the edge by a woman formerly preoccupied with pleasing everyone but herself.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this arresting memoir, Gaines describes her metamorphosis from a drug addicted ex-con into an award-winning reporter for the Washington Post. The daughter of a black marine, she spent her 1950s childhood on a series of military bases where, she reports, her self-esteem was severely damaged by racism. Gaines observes that her feelings of worthlessness-heightened by her father's inability to show her affection-led her into relationships with abusive men. A mother at 19, Gaines used hard drugs with her first husband; by 21, she was serving time for possession. Gaines candidly details two more unsuccessful marriages and relationships with men who beat and raped her. With the help of psychotherapy, she learned to stop her self-destructive behavior and work towards personal and professional fulfillment. Author tour. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Looking back over the poor choices she made regarding men, family relationships, and her own behavior, Gaines reveals how she triumphantly overcame drug addiction and imprisonment to become a respected Washington Post reporter.
School Library Journal
YA-Gaines's autobiography reveals a life filled with despair, peril, and finally hope. She was the oldest of six siblings in a financially stable African American family in the 1950s. Her father was a career Marine and her mother was the mainstay of the home. Gaines was not happy and blamed institutionalized racism and the emotional coldness of her father for much that went wrong in her life. She was raped twice, became a shoplifter and drug addict, had a baby out of wedlock, got pregnant again and had an abortion, was married and divorced twice, and went to prison. Today, after a long and painful look into herself and the people with whom she associated, Gaines is now a successful writer of poetry and fiction as well as a celebrated journalist for The Washington Post. This is an insightful story full of pain, anger, and emotional and mental growth. The author pulls no punches in her straightforward and frank writing style, detailing her sex life and drug addiction. Yet her stated purpose in telling her story is to give hope to other women who feel the utter despondency she once did. She succeeds admirably.-Pat Royal, Crossland High School, Camp Springs, MD
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385480277
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/28/1995
  • Edition description: 1st Anchor Books ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,499,702
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.68 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2011

    Outstanding and Inspiring!

    This is an excellent book that can teach everyone a lesson especially if you have been incarcerated and endured drug abuse. Thank you Patrice Gaines.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2007

    Very Inspiring

    I had not read a book in years, my 21 year old daughter recommended that I read this one and I am glad that she did, it was very inspiring.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2002

    Empowerment

    I read this excellent book when I was in high school and was honored to hear her speak at a conference. I am now a recent college graduate and the one thing that I remember Patricia repeating is that 'Desperation has an Odor.' This book is wonderfully written and it teaches a lesson that everyone can learn from.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2002

    A book to read over and over again.

    The first book I ever purchased back in 1995. It took me 3 days to finish. I couldn't put it down. Ms. Gaines opens herself in such an unselfish manner that you can't help but draw hope and inspiration from her experiences. A book that should be required reading for every African-American girl. A must for every woman to have.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2002

    A soul revived

    This story of a life like so many others is a breath of fresh air. Patrice tells her story in a way that you can see yourself in every word, you can feel what she felt. This is a story that I pray that every Black female in the US could read. I was born around the same era but still felt the ugliness of hatred, not knowing that I too have power within. Thanks Patrice

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2000

    The book that changed my life

    Iwas told about this book I waslike this book was just anther one of those books mother wantedyouto read ,but it wasn't it's abook a young female can relate to doing her teen year,it give hits on what to do while beinga teenager going up in this type of world. This is the best book I've read yet.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2000

    OUTSTANDING.....All women of color should read this book

    This is an EXCELLENT title. Sista's you need to read this one especially if you found yourself going down a path that lead you nowhere but trouble. It makes you have a second look on taking up for that no good brotha, that is definitely no good for you! Since this is a true story, it even hits home a lot harder for some. You know who you are. If you know a sister that is struggling, or incarcerated send them this book. IT IS GREAT.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews

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