The story of Maya Angelou’s extraordinary life has been chronicled in her multiple bestselling autobiographies. But now, at last, the legendary author shares the deepest personal story of her life: her relationship with her mother.
For the first time, Angelou reveals the triumphs and struggles of being the daughter of Vivian Baxter, an indomitable spirit whose petite size
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Edit: Tell me, how can this be such a bad review I get a troll? It’s 3 star, it praises Maya Angelou, yet I get some troll playing the race card about ‘poor Maya Angelou’. She might have grown up in politically difficult times, but she grew up with a wealthy mother and household staff. (view spoiler)[Since I am part of a multiracial family myself, the race card gets no consideration from me at all. But the troll wasn’t to know that, perhaps she thought I would come over all White guilt. *sucks t
I’ve listened to the abridged version of this. It’s achingly good. So good I ordered the hardback. I just had to read the whole book in print. Every word. I could see this book was destined for my list of favourite books.
But I was wrong.
I think what happened was that the editor who abridged the book for five episodes of 15 minutes each was a genius at picking out only the unique and wonderful scenes and leaving out the more boring reminiscences.
I wonder if Maya Angelou’s power with words isn’t waning with age and her delight in herself, always evident in her many autobiographical books, isn’t increasing?
The book was about two people, Maya Angelou who apart from a dreadful incident of rape by her mother’s husband (scarcely mentioned in the book) had not lived a hard life by any means. This is not a story of a poor black girl from the wrong side of the tracks making it despite everything. It’s the story of a very clever, multi-talented young (and eventually middle-aged) woman trying out lots of things from burlesque to screen-writing and, like King Midas, turning to gold everything she touched.
It’s also the story of a mother who did not raise her children but sent them to their paternal grandmother and eventually had them returned to her in their teens. She was well-off, self-indulgent, clever, amusing and when not consumed with her own self-centred selfishness, had her daughter’s back.
This sounds like it could be a good memoir, right? But it wasn’t, it just never took off. There have been too many prior volumes of autobiography that have used all the best anecdotes and this is just a book because Maya Angelou wanted to write it, and her die-hard fans, like me, would buy it and read it.
Not quite so much a fan though now.