Tavis Smiley and Maya Angelou met in 1986, when he was twenty-one and she was fifty-eight. For the next twenty-eight years, Angelou was a teacher and a maternal figure to Smiley, and they talked often of art, politics, history, music, religion, and race. In My Journey with Maya, Smiley beautifully recounts a friendship filled with conversation that began when he, a recent college graduate and a poor kid from a big family in the Midwest, accompanied the revered writer on a sojourn to Ghana.
Smiley stumbled into a relationship with her that shaped his future and affected the man he became. Like a mother to him, she was generous, challenging, and inspirational--as she was to so many. Here he shares his portrait of Angelou--a highly complex individual who left an indelible imprint on American culture.
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"Every page is saturated with spirit-lifting advice...'If you arrived feeling good, you left feeling better.' The same can be said of reading Smiley's book."--Dawn Raffel, Oprah's Book Club 2.0 "A beautiful memoir and tribute to a fallen friend.... Smiley's engaging memoir chronicles his wondrous sojourn to Ghana with Angelou and her entourage, vividly recalling conversations, sights, sounds and even thoughts that he had along the way."--Kimberly C. Roberts, The Philadelphia Tribune "Smiley proves to be a faithful recorder of Angelou's poise, compassion, and dignity.... Readers might feel regret for not having the privilege of meeting Angelou personally, but Smiley has faithfully re-created both her voice's 'haunting beauty and lilting musicality' and the experience of receiving her transformative wisdom, humor, and compassion."--Kirkus Reviews "Both a tribute and a memoir.... My Journey with Maya is a passionate depiction of a true Renaissance woman. One hopes it will lead readers back to Angelou's many books."--Lisa Page, The Washington Post "Smiley writes about Angelou...with such reverence, respect and fondness that the reader can't help but envy their bond.... His willingness to pat the seat next to him, inviting us to worship at the altar of Angelou alongside him and countless other of her 'children, ' feels like an insider's treat.... She lives on in his Journey."--Arienne Thompson, USA Today "Angelou's personality comes through in the book, which opens up a remarkable connection to a legacy of African American intellectual and creative life..."--Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times "For Angelou admirers and those intrigued with black culture, Smiley's glowing praise-song reminds us of what her singular, exceptional presence meant to her community and the nation."--Publishers Weekly "Confidence and compassion compliment one another throughout his portrait of Maya Angelou. Well-written and highly entertaining, Smiley's work engages the reader from beginning to end.... Smiley's transformative memoir depicts the power of travel, the importance of experience, and how it can change one's perception of place and its culture."--Ashley Mahoney, The Charlotte Post
About Tavis Smiley
Tavis Smiley is the host of PBS's Tavis Smiley and Public Radio International's The Tavis Smiley Show. Smiley is also the bestselling author of 17 books. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
My Journey With Maya by Tavis Smiley
Used - Very Good
Little, Brown & Company
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