Letter to My Daughter

Front Cover
Random House, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 166 pages
403 Reviews
For a world of devoted readers, a much-awaited new volume of absorbing stories and inspirational wisdom from one of our best-loved writers.

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.




“I gave birth to one child, a son, but I have thousands of daughters. You are Black and White, Jewish and Muslim, Asian, Spanish speaking, Native Americans and Aleut. You are fat and thin and pretty and plain, gay and straight, educated and unlettered, and I am speaking to you all. Here is my offering to you.”

–from Letter to My Daughter

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5 stars
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4 stars
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3 stars
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2 stars
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It has great advice and insight into life. - Goodreads
Her manner of writing feels very insensitive and curt. - Goodreads
Lovely, eloquent poetry and prose. - Goodreads
Good advice and great poetry. - Goodreads
Warm, lovely and wise, like all of her writing. - Goodreads
Some sage advice from an amazing lady. - Goodreads

Review: Letter to My Daughter

User Review  - Phredric - Goodreads

Short, slight book of short - very short - anecdotes, memories and advice. Sweetly written but I could't read more than 2 or 3 of the pieces at one sitting, more than that and they get a bit sickly - a bit like eating too much chocolate in one go. Read full review

Review: Letter to My Daughter

User Review  - Pamela Kopsiaftis - Goodreads

It was a treat to revisit Angelou through this collection of short essays and poems. It was a reminder of the remarkable life she lived--the rhythm of which is captured so beautifully in her poetry ... Read full review

About the author (2008)

Poet, writer, performer, teacher, and director, Maya Angelou was raised in Stamps, Arkansas, then moved to San Francisco. In addition to her bestselling autobiographies, beginning with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, she has also written a cookbook, Hallelujah! The Welcome Table, and five poetry collections, including I Shall Not Be Moved and Shaker, Why Don't You Sing?

Bibliographic information