The Heart of a Woman
The Heart of a Woman
Random House, Hardcover, 9780375500725, 288pp.
Publication Date: May 17, 1997
Shortly after that, through her friend Abbey Lincoln, she takes one of the lead parts in Genet's The Blacks (it was a remarkable cast, including Godfrey Cambridge, Roscoe Lee Brown, James Earl Jones, Cicely Tyson, Raymond St. Jacques, and Lou Gossett), and even writes music for the production.
In the meantime her personal life has taken a tempestuous turn. She has left the New York bail bondsman she was intending to marry and has fallen in love with a South African freedom fighter named Vusumzi Make, who sweeps her off her feet and eventually takes her to London and then to Cairo, where, as her marriage begins to break up, she becomes the first female editor of the English-language magazine.
The Heart of a Woman is filled with unforgettable vignettes of famous people, from Billie Holiday to Malcolm X, but perhaps most important is the story of Maya Angelou's relationship with her son. Because this book chronicles, finally, the joys and the burdens of a black mother in America and how the son she had cherished so intensely and worked for so devotedly finally grows to be a man.
"I know that not since the days of my childhood, when people in books were more real than the people one saw every day, have I found myself SO moved."
-- James Baldwin
"Full of laughter and tears, love and hate, failures and triumphs, and above all, understanding."
-- John O. Killens
"Gather Together in My Name
"Gather Together in My Name is part of a select body of literature that includes The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Claude Brown's Manchild in the Promised land, and Ernest J. Gaines's The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Maya Angelou regards the world and herself with intelligence and wit; she records the events of her life with style and grace."
-- William McPherson, The Washington Post Book World
"Here the 'caged bird' soars, and sings in a voice as rich and funny, passionate and mellow as any writer I know."
-- Shana Alexander