This wasn’t planned but I bet somewhere deep in my subconscious I knew I was going to do this. The last time I moved I recall listening to about three Maya Angelou books in a row on audiobook while sorting, cleaning, and getting through my move. I just moved this weekend and listened to this one. She reads her books and her voice is so encouraging and pleasant, and she has such a bright outlook on even the darkest of subjects. This book is kind of a “letter to her daughter” and also a memoir and also a collection of essays.
The essays here cover a lot of different topics from being a pregnant teenager, to going to school, to being a writer, to raising a black son, to discussing race and gender stereotypes, to sexual violence and various other topics. The essays tend to be meditative, but focused, and the language is at times flowery, but also clear.
Probably the most memorable of these essays for me is about a trip of hers to visit friends. While she’s there she is told to prepare for a visit from another friend, and it becomes clear that the person who connected to the two women had no idea who the other was, and so she’s describing a meeting with a complete stranger where both people are trying to make sense of the situation and save face as well.
Also, no joke. The friends she go to visit are Jessica Mitford and her husband. It’s hilarious to me to think about Maya Angelou and Jessica Mitford being friends.