The Best Memoirs of a Generation
224 pages; Random House
Because her wisdom never, ever dims.
The late Dr. Maya Angelou shot to international acclaim in 1969 with the publication of her first memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. In her seventh and final autobiography, Mom & Me & Mom, published the year before her death, she revisited her relationship with her mother, the formidable Vivian Baxter. Although tough-as-nails Vivian sent Maya away to Stamps, Arkansas, to live with her grandmother when she was 3, the two powerfully reconciled when Maya was a teenager. "Sit down, I have something to say" was Vivian's trademark line. A strong teacher, advocate, sometime adversary and always mentor, Vivian told her young, struggling daughter, "Baby, I've been thinking and now I am sure. You are the greatest woman I've ever met." — Dawn Raffel