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Mom & Me & Mom

by Maya Angelou

Publishers Weekly 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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal 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 (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.