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  1 Mom & Me & Mom
Author: Angelou, Maya Biographee: Angelou, Maya
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Class: Biography
Age: Adult
Language: English
LC: PS3551
Print Run: 125000
ISBN-13: 9781400066117
LCCN: 2012022257
Imprint: Random House
Pub Date: 04/02/2013
Availability: Available
List: $25.00
Physical Description: x, 201 p. : ill. ; 22 cm. H 8.3", W 5.3", D 1", 0.74 lbs.
LC Series:
Brodart Sources: Brodart's Blockbuster List
Brodart's Insight Catalog: Adult
Brodart's TOP Adult Titles
Bibliographies: Los Angeles Times Bestsellers List
New York Times Bestsellers List
New York Times Bestsellers: Adult Nonfiction
Public Library Core Collection: Nonfiction, 15th ed.
Public Library Core Collection: Nonfiction, 16th ed.
Publishers Weekly Bestsellers
Street Lit Book Award Medal Honorees
Starred Reviews:
TIPS Subjects: Literature, American
Biography, Individual
BISAC Subjects: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Cultural, Ethnic & Regional / African American & Black
FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Parenting / Parent & Adult Child
LC Subjects: African American authors, Biography
Angelou, Maya, Family
Authors, American, 20th century, Biography
Entertainers, United States, Biography
SEARS Subjects: African American authors, Biography
American authors, Biography
Entertainers, United States, Biography
Reading Programs:
Brodart's TOP Adult Titles | 01/01/2013
Maya Angelou breaks her silence on her mother as she recounts what brought her mother to abandon Maya. Maya then works through the emotions of the aftermath, detailing how she felt about her mother's actions and how Maya found a way to heal from the pain. 224pp., 125K, Auth res: Winston-Salem, NC, B/W Photos
Journal Reviews
BookPage | 04/01/2013
At the age of 84, Maya Angelou doesn't have to write anymore. She has global fame as a poet, author and performer, as well as a professorship in American Studies at Wake Forest University. She has won three Grammys and a Presidential Medal of Arts, published two cookbooks, directed movies and appeared on "Sesame Street." She wrote her latest memoir, Mom & Me & Mom, not because she has to, but because she feels an obligation to share what she knows. "Every adult owes to every young person the truth," Angelou says in an interview with BookPage from her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. "Not the facts--you can get the facts from various sources. The truth is how human beings feel--how a particular action makes a human being sad or happy--so that when young people encounter that particular feeling, they can say, oh, I know this feeling because someone else has been here before." In straightforward style, Mom & Me & Mom dives deeply into Angelou's complicated relationship with her mother, Vivian Baxter Johnson, who owned gambling businesses and boarding houses in California and Nome, Alaska. Anyone who has read Angelou's previous memoirs, including the searing I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, knows that Angelou and her brother, Bailey, were sent as very young children to live with their grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. Those readers might also have been left with the impression that Vivian Baxter Johnson was not mother material. In her new book, Angelou paints a more complete picture of the woman she called "Lady," fleshing out in her wholly singular voice the story of what happened when their grandmother decided in the early 1940s that it was time they rejoined their mother in California. The move was mainly for her 14-year-old brother's sake. It was, Angelou wrote, "a dangerous age for a black boy in the segregated South." Angelou was a gangly teenager when she was sent to California to live with her pretty, petite mother. They traveled by train to San Francisco, settling in with Lady and her husband, "a wondrous, very pleasant-looking man" named Clidell Jackson. Angelou was a gangly teenager, six feet tall with a deep voice, and at first she felt ill at ease around her pretty, petite mother, who favored "red lips and high heels." Over time, their relationship warmed, and despite her illicit business interests and occasional arrests, Lady had strong opinions about maintaining the family's reputation. "You will learn that we do not lie, and we do not cheat, and we do laugh a lot," she tells Maya and Bailey shortly after their arrival. While still in high school, Angelou decided she wanted a job as a conductorette on a San Francisco streetcar. With headstrong determination, she planted herself in the company office for two weeks until a supervisor finally accepted her application. When she was hired, the newspapers hailed her as "the first American Negro to work on the railway." Her mother drove her to the streetcar barn each day to start her 4 a.m. shift, and drove behind the streetcar until daylight, a pistol on the car seat next to her. When Angelou became pregnant while still in high school, she was terrified to tell her mother. But Lady was accepting of her daughter's pregnancy, telling her, "We--you and I--and this family are going to have a wonderful baby. That's all there is to that." Angelou gave birth right after graduating and worked two jobs to support herself and her young son, Guy. Trying hard to forge her own path, she moved into a boarding house, and would not accept money or even a ride from her mother, but did let Lady take Guy twice a week. Angelou raised him with humor and a firm desire that he be a strong, self-reliant man who was always true to himself. "We... Review exceeds allowable length. Amy Scribner. 224pg. BOOKPAGE, c2013.
Booklist | 02/15/2013
Angelou's highly acclaimed autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), chronicles her growing up in Stamps, Arkansas, with her paternal grandmother and the trauma that resulted from a visit to her mother's family. In this loving recollection of a complicated relationship, Angelou for the first time details the mother-daughter journey to reconciliation and unwavering connection and support. After their reunion in San Francisco, angry and resentful at what she viewed as the abandonment of her and her brother, Angelou took years to warm to her mother, Vivian Baxter, calling her Lady rather than Mother. But Baxter's unconditional acceptance and appreciation of her daughter, through unwed motherhood, a failed marriage, and career ups and downs, won Angelou's love and respect. Angelou vividly portrays a spirited woman, unbowed by the limitations of race and sex, who ran a boardinghouse and gambling house and taught her daughter the determination, street smarts, and survival skills that have helped Angelou carve a space for her identity and formidable talents. Photos enhance this remarkable and deeply revealing chronicle of love and healing. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The celebrated author gives the backstory on I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969) in this revealing look at her relationship with her mother, which is sure to receive a tsunami's worth of publicity. Bush, Vanessa. 193p. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2013.
Kirkus Reviews | 02/15/2013
Angelou (Letters to My Daughter, 2008, etc.) has given us the opportunity to read much of her life, but here she unveils her relationship with her mother for the first time. True to her style, the writing cuts to the chase with compression and simplicity, and there in the background is a calypso smoothness, flurries and showers of musicality between the moments of wickedness. And wickedness abounds, for Angelou had a knack for picking bad men. But the pivot of the book is her mother--first called lady, then mother and finally mom--who sent Angelou and her brother to live with their grandmother when Angelou was 3. By the time her older brother was capable of getting into serious trouble as an independent-minded black man in the American South, they were shipped back to their mother, who was as ready as she would ever be. She had been around, ran a few gambling houses and picked up plenty of worldly wisdom, which she dispensed to Angelou: "Power and determination...[w]ith those two things, you can go anywhere and everywhere"; "If you don't protect yourself, you look like a fool asking somebody else to protect you." Though readers may not sense that her mother was not the most reliable force in her life, Angelou knew enough to grab the most from what she had: "[S]he was there with me. She had my back, supported me. This is the role of the mother....She stands between the known and the unknown." Strung through the narrative are intense episodes in Angelou's personal progress, from those disappointing-to-terrifying boyfriends, a seriously ugly meeting with her father and stepmother, her days as a prostitute and her incandescent relationships with her brother and her son. A tightly strung, finely tuned memoir about life with her mother. 224pg. KIRKUS MEDIA LLC, c2013.
Library Journal | 03/15/2013
Those who have read Angelou's previous memoirs, including the classic I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, will be familiar with some of the stories captured in this latest creation. Still, the author's focus here is on her mother, Vivian Baxter, and that focus makes this a distinct addition to Angelou's autobiographical writings. When Angelou was three her parents separated and sent both Maya and her brother to live with their grandmother. When Angelou was reunited with her mother ten years later, the initial relationship was difficult, though eventually they formed a strong bond. Here Angelou writes about critical episodes from her life while giving attention to her mother's positive influence at various crossroads. The author reveals Baxter's major contributions to her phenomenal career. This memoir is also a beautiful tribute to Baxter's independent, vibrant, and courageous spirit. VERDICT Because of Angelou's popularity and her approachable writing, this book will have wide appeal. Stacy Russo, Santa Ana Coll. Lib., CA. 193p. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2013.
Publishers Weekly | 01/21/2013
Written with her customary eloquence, Angelou's latest focuses on her relationship with her mother, the fierce, beautiful, charismatic, and determined Vivian Baxter--dubbed "Lady" by the 13-year-old Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings) upon their reunion. Amid the breakdown in her marriage, Baxter had sent Angelou and her brother, Bailey, to live with their paternal grandmother in Arkansas when they were toddlers. But as Bailey grew older, their grandmother sent them to live with their mother in California. Though initially dubious, Angelou soon found a fierce supporter and life teacher in Baxter. Over her lifetime, Baxter was a boarding house owner, a gambler, a registered nurse, a pioneering sailor, and head of Stockton Black Women for Humanity; wise and generous, she wasn't opposed to threats and violence, when necessary. There are difficult times (including a violent, disturbing episode between Angelou and a jealous boyfriend), as well as triumphs, such as Angelou's job as the first African-American female streetcar conductor, obtained thanks to Baxter's encouragement. The book follows in the episodic style of Angelou's earlier volumes of autobiography, pulling the reader along effortlessly. The lessons and the love presented here will speak to those trying to make their way in the world. B&w photos. Agent: Helen Brann, the Helen Brann Agency. (Apr.). 224p. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2013.