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Friday, May 12, 2017

Best-Selling Novel, “Tryin’ to Sleep in the Bed You Made,” Celebrates 20th Anniversary in Grand Style at 25th National Conference of Go on Girl! Book Club

— New York Times Best-Selling Authors, Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant, Will Lead All-Star Anniversary Performance in Chicago on June 3, 2017. —

Books by Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant

Books by Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant

New York, NY — In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the novel, Tryin’ to Sleep in the Bed You Made by New York Times best-selling authors, Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant, the Go On Girl! Book Club (www.goongirl.org) will host an all-star performance of the beloved novel at their 25th Annual Author Awards Weekend at the Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel on Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. The performance will feature award-winning actors, Regina Taylor, Nambi E. Kelly, and Craig Boyd, along with a panel discussion on the state of women and girls of color in Hollywood and media led by Dr. Margena A. Christian of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“It seems impossible that 20 years have passed since Pat, Gayle and Marcus began Tryin’ to Sleep in those beds,” shared author, Donna Grant. “In that time, we have received tens of thousands of letters and emails from all over the world where readers have shared the sometimes funny, often profoundly personal ways that the characters’ struggles, successes, heartbreaks, flame outs and ultimately their unceasing love for each other, have touched their lives.”

Tryin’ to Sleep in the Bed You Made was published in 1997 by St. Martin’s Press and was the largest selling work of African American hard cover fiction for that year. The novel spent 15 consecutive months on the ESSENCE Bestseller List, 8 months as #1 and maintains a 5-star rating on Amazon.com. Tryin’ to Sleep in the Bed You Made has received numerous awards including-Honor Award Fiction, Black Caucus of the American Library Association, 1997 Book of the Year-Fiction by the African American Booksellers Conference of the American Booksellers Association, and the Best New Author 1997 Go On Girl. The novel sold over 600,000 copies with worldwide sales of over $7 million and still sells to this day.

The 20th Anniversary Celebration of Tryin’ to Sleep in the Bed You Made will be an evening of beautiful and poignant dramatic performances that will bring to life the beloved novel and other titles by Deberry and Grant. The performance will be led by award-winning actors of television, stage, and film and include – Regina Taylor (I’LL FLY AWAY, COURAGE UNDER FIRE, CHILDREN OF THE DUST, CLOCKERS), Nambi E. Kelly (TWO TRAINS RUNNING, SEVEN GUITARS, THE BEAST, CITY OF ANGELS), Craig Boyd (STAND-UP TRAGEDY, CIDER HOUSE RULES, LET ME LIVE), and Savannah Rivers (DREAMGIRLS, HARD KNOCK LIFE, EMPIRE). The celebration will also serve as a platform to promote conversation and thought surrounding the ongoing lack of substantial roles in Hollywood for women and girls of color. Led by media scholar and journalist, Dr. Margena A. Christian of the University of Illinois at Chicago, a panel discussion with the authors and other thought leaders, Geena Davis Institute for Gender in Media and Mayor Franklin Deese, will complement the evening. A reception and book signing will follow the performance. Proceeds from the performance will go to Go On Girl! Book Club, The Geena Davis Institute for Gender in Media, and CURLS Girls Rule the World. The event is being sponsored by Boyd Entertainment Group, D3 Entertainment Group, and CURLS.

“Now, we are truly amazed and humbled that a new generation of readers still find themselves and their friends reflected in the stories of life, family and friendship we tell in Tryin’ to Sleep in the Bed You Made, as well as in our other books,” explained author, Virginia DeBerry.” “And, through more than 35 years of friendship, we are tickled to have shared this and so much more with each other.”

For more information and to purchase tickets for the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Tryin’ to Sleep in the Bed You Made, please visit www.goongirl.org/awards-weekend/join-us.


Virginia DeBerry was formerly the Vice-President of BB/LW, an agency for plus size and petite models as well as a spokeswoman for Hanes hosiery. She currently lives in New Jersey. Donna Grant, a Brooklyn native, currently lives in the borough with her husband. Before becoming a novelist, she spent more than a decade as a plus-sized model. DeBerry and Grant have co-authored seven novels including – Tryin’ to Sleep in the Bed You Made (Merit Award/Fiction, Black Caucus of the American Library Association), Far From the Tree (New York Times Bestseller), Better Than I Know Myself (Open Book Award, Essence Bestseller, Best African American Fiction 2004 Borders and Waldenbooks) and Gotta Keep on Tryin’ — turning a 25-year friendship into the most successful and enduring writing collaboration in fiction.


Uptown (2010)
What Doesn’t Kill You (2009)
Gotta Keep On Tryin’ (2008)
Better Than I Know Myself (2004)
Far From the Tree (2000)
Tryin’ To Sleep in the Bed You Made (1997)
Exposures (1990)


The Go On Girl! Book Club is a nationally recognized reading club committed to fostering an awareness of and appreciation for the diverse literary works by authors of the Black Diaspora. Their deep and authentic respect for literature aligns with our not-for-profit status whereby we earmark the vast majority of organizational funds to furthering our mission and celebrating our love of literature. Since their founding in 1991, the organization has organically grown into more than 30 chapters consisting of 300+ members in cities across the country.


Tyrha M. Lindsey-Warren

Kathleen Delva

Andrea Bent Fields