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Letter to My Daughter


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About the Author

Maya Angelou was raised in Stamps, Arkansas. In addition to her bestselling autobiographies, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and The Heart of a Woman, she wrote numerous volumes of poetry, among them Phenomenal Woman, And Still I Rise, On the Pulse of Morning, and Mother. Maya Angelou died in 2014.


This collection of short essays, most of them two or three pages long, continues Angelou's themes in Even the Stars Look Lonesome and Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now by combining personal experience with prescriptions for a meaningful life. Dedicating the book to the daughter she never had, Angelou recounts her childhood in Stamps, AR, where she endured the oppression of racism, an experience that has left its indelible mark on her. When she became pregnant during high school, she chose to have the child and raise him herself despite the difficulty, which taught her independence at a young age. She emphasizes the need for cultural tolerance and doesn't hesitate to reveal her own cultural missteps-e.g., in Morocco, mistaking raisins in her coffee for cockroaches and walking on the tablecloth in Senegal. Angelou is at her best when she departs from popular views, as in her chapter on violence, in which she disagrees with those who see rape as solely about power and not about sexual violence. This collection will appeal to Angelou fans and those looking for short essays that offer important truths. Recommended for large collections.-Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"It's a book to give to one's daughter, mother, son or father, but definitely one to be read and savored."--Baltimore Sun "Sound advice, vivid memory and strong opinion . . . What is clear is that [Maya] Angelou is, all these years later, still a charmer, still speaking her mind."--Washington Post Book World "A slim volume packed with nourishing nuggets of wisdom . . . Overarching each brief chapter is the vital energy of a woman taking life's measure with every step."--Kirkus Reviews

"Written in Angelou's beautiful, poetic style, the essays feel like warm advice from a beloved aunt or grandmother, whose wisdom you know was earned."--Fredericksburg Free Lance--Star "Spellbinding . . . Angelou delivers with her signature passion and fire. . . . Each [essay] delivers a powerful message."--Rocky Mountain News

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