Dedicated to the daughter she never had but sees all around her, Letter to My Daughter reveals Maya Angelou's path to living well and living a life with meaning. Told in her own inimitable style, this book transcends genres and categories: guidebook, memoir, poetry, and pure delight.
Here in short spellbinding essays are glimpses of the tumultuous life that led Angelou to an exalted place in American letters and taught her lessons in compassion and fortitude: how she was brought up by her indomitable grandmother in segregated Arkansas, taken in at thirteen by her more worldly and less religious mother, and grew to be an awkward, six-foot-tall teenager whose first experience of loveless sex paradoxically left her with her greatest gift, a son.
Whether she is recalling such lost friends as Coretta Scott King and Ossie Davis, extolling honesty, decrying vulgarity, explaining why becoming a Christian is a lifelong endeavor, or simply singing the praises of a meal of red rice, Maya Angelou writes from the heart to millions of women she considers her extended family.
Like the rest of her remarkable work, Letter to My Daughter entertains and teaches; it is a book to cherish, savor, re-read, and share.
©2008 Maya Angelou; (P)2008 Random House Audio
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons
I just saw this book appear in my library one day (after checking I found out my girlfriend got it) and it looked short enough so I thought... What the heck? To say I was impressed would be a massive understatement. If I never thought Maya Angelou was an icon before, I would know now. Her insight, humility and wisdom is something that cannot be bought and it's not something that only experience can teach. It takes something more... something that Maya Angelou clearly has. She speaks of both her shortcomings and triumphs in a great way, I often have to really just stop whatever am doing to replay a portion of book so I can really absorb what she has to say.
I first thought the book would be geared specifically for women, and maybe it is in some way that my limited insight cannot perceive. But I would suggest this book to anyone... Black... White... Mixed... Asian... Indian... male... female... whoever you are. The wisdom in this book is something that is just great to say the least, narration by Maya Angelou was a heaven sent.
Truly an EPIC piece!
Maya Angelou has a voice like warm butter. If she read it aloud, she could make her grocery list sound wise and sensual and beautiful. When listening to her, I just want to nod my head and agree, grateful that she's sharing her thoughts with me. In this book, she recounts many of her personal experiences across eight decades of life. It's honest and sincere, and I was touched that she generously shared some of her own most embarrassing mistakes and what she learned about herself and the world through them.
After finishing this book, which only took a couple of hours, I reflected back on her lessons and can't say that I can embrace them all, perhaps because my experiences are not hers. But I'm nonetheless grateful that she's shared the insight she's gained through her remarkable life, and in her own voice.
What a delightful surprise to find out that Maya Angelou herself was the narrator. I felt like I was sitting at the feet of a sage, soaking in wisdom. This is a book I may end up picking up - that is the hardcopy - in order to easily reference the pearls of wisdom she graciously shares with her audience. My only criticism, is that towards the end, the stories became a bit impersonal, and seemed as if they were added as an afterthought. Didn't seem to fit with the idea of writing personal letters to a daughter. It sounded more like recycled speeches presented at other venues and hastily added towards the end of the book. This is why I gave the overall review 4 stars instead of 5.
I am a very big fan of the author and try to get as many of her publications as possible. I am not quite finished with this book but finding it very interesting as it holds my attention with every word. And for me that is very important. Recommendation for this book A Must Have and/or Read. A+
1) You do not have to be a liberal Democrat to appreciate Maya Angelou's works. I am a fiscally conservative Catholic and this book, still, moved me beyond words.
2) There are a lot of funny stories intermingled with sad events, all peppered with intuitively wise, and sometimes ironic advice, from which nearly anyone can benefit.
3) This book may be short, but it is definitely worth listening to--if only so you can say, that you have read one of Maya Angelou's works.
4) Though "Letters to my Daughter" is not meant to be a self help book, I've nonetheless gleaned more from its short 2 hours and 34 minutes, than I would have after enduring months of psychotherapy.
If ever you voluntarily or involuntarily replay the internal broken record of self-criticism, self-abasement, or self-deprecation that has either arisen from personal feelings of inadequacy, or that has been instilled in your psyche by parents, peers, and/or lovers, then this book is for you.
Get it now. You won't regret it.
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