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Posts Tagged ‘Maya Angelou’

Transgender Advocate and Author Janet Mock Talks About Her Memoir

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Janet Mock has known she wanted to be a storyteller since she was a fifth grader in Honolulu who escaped to her local public library to devour books by Maya AngelouTerry McMillan and Zora Neale Hurston. ”I knew that words would be my refuge and words were where I could create a composite of the dreams and the life that I wanted to live,” she recalls.

Years later, the now 30-year-old moved to New York to pursue her writing career. And after coming out as a transgender woman in a 2011 Marie Claire article, Mock became an ardent advocate for other transgender women, especially those who are young and struggle financially. Her newly released memoir, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More (Atria Books/Simon & Schuster) delves into the self-identify struggles that many trans people face. Mock recently spoke to Mediabistro about her book and offered some advice on writing your own memoir:

Anchor yourself in your own experience and write from that place. And you’ll find your voice. You’ll find out what you want to do. You’ll find your purpose. And I think that everything comes out of that. It’s [about] being able to sit still with yourself and really excavate those parts of yourself that were shut off or silenced or put into the dark a long time ago. I know that when I actually sat down with myself to do that work… that’s when my life began transforming.

To hear more from Mock, including what her literary idol, bell hooks, thought of her book, read: So What Do You Do, Janet Mock, Writer, Transgender Advocate and Author?

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Lauren Berger Writes New Book for Young People Entering "Real World"

Lauren Berger Welcome to the Real WorldCareer Expert, Lauren Berger, releases her second book, Welcome to the Real World: Finding Your Place, Perfecting Your Work, and Turning Your Job Into Your Dream Career (Harper Business), on April 22nd. In this book, Berger shares everything she wishes someone told her after graduation. Her book is the essential guide to anyone starting their first, second, or third job. She encourages readers to be fearless, step outside of their comfort zones, and go after what they want.

Nelson Mandela Stars in Comic Book

MANDELATribBluewater Productions has released a comic book biography starring former South African President Nelson Mandela. Tribute: Nelson Mandela,a 32-page comic, features writing by Clay and Susan Griffith and illustrations by Pablo Martinena.

Publisher Darren G. Davis had this statement in the press release: “Not only is this a great way to understand the importance of his contribution to the world, but a great tool for kids to read about him in a different medium. Our biography comic books are now taught in schools and libraries for students and reluctant readers.”

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Maya Angelou Pens Tribute Poem to Honor Nelson Mandela

Acclaimed author Maya Angelou has written a tribute poem, entitled “His Day is Done,” to honor former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela.

We’ve embedded a video with a reading of the poem above–what do you think? AL.com reports that this piece was commissioned by the U.S. State Department.

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Toni Morrison Honors Maya Angelou at the National Book Awards

angelouAuthor Toni Morrison honored writer Maya Angelou at the National Book Awards this evening with the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.

“It’s a personal pleasure to honor a friend and artist and a legend,” said Morrison, who said how wonderful it is that such a talented person doesn’t put others down. “Instead, Maya Angelou inspires delight as well as awe,” said Morrison. “Her reputation sparkles with elegance, generosity, humor…compassion, and dare I say it, wisdom.”

In her speech, Morrison said that when her son died one Christmas, the very first non-family voice that she heard on the phone was Maya. ”With so much toxicity around in this world, the celebratory social life she offers her friends and colleagues is a blessing,” said Morrison. “And trust me, Maya can cook.” Read more

LIFE to Release ‘The Day Kennedy Died’

LIFE will publish a book called The Day Kennedy Died to honor the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s death.

The book, which comes out on October 15th, opens up with a foreword featuring a conversation with historian David McCullough. It also contains photos, several essays, and “all 486 frames of the [Abraham] Zapruder film in print for the first time.”

The assassination of our 35th president took place in Dallas, TX on November 22, 1963. President Jimmy CarterDr. May Angelou, actor Alec Baldwin and other celebrities contributed personal stories about “where they were when they heard the news.”


E. L. Doctorow & Maya Angelou To Receive National Book Foundation Honors

The National Book Foundation will honor novelist E. L. Doctorow and poet Dr. Maya Angelou at this year’s National Book Awards ceremony.

Doctorow has been given the 2013 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Angelou has received the 2013 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.

The ceremony event will take place on November 20th in New York City.

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Conan O’Brien Launches Famous Authors On Ziplines

In a recent sketch on his show, television host Conan O’Brien confessed: “TBS, my new bosses, they’re worried that authors won’t be entertaining enough to our young audience, most of whom have never seen a book.”

In response, O’Brien created a new feature that will bring literature to a generation bored with books: Famous Authors on Ziplines. We’ve embedded the video above–what do you think?

The funny literary stunt featured readings by Joyce Carol Oates, Maya Angelou, Thomas Wolfe.

Maya Angelou Objects To MLK Monument Quote

Poet Maya Angelou is not a fan of the new Martin Luther King monument in Washington, DC (pictured, via). In a Washington Post article, the poet objected to the quote carved on the newly unveiled MLK monument.

The original King quote read: “If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.” But it has been shortened to read “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.”

Here’s Angelou’s quote, from the article: “The quote makes Dr. Martin Luther King look like an arrogant twit … He was anything but that. He was far too profound a man for that four-letter word to apply.”

Essence EIC: We Are ‘Absolutely’ Looking for New Writers

Before they were mainstays on countless bestseller lists, Maya Angelou, Terry McMillan and Alice Walker were all once featured in Essence. And, says editor-in-chief Constance C.R. White, the magazine is always looking to give the next big talent a shot at a byline as well.

“The first thing you think about is what are Black women thinking about. What’s important to Black women?” White explains in our latest Media Beat interview. “And that is really the crux of what we do at Essence and, therefore if you’re pitching us, that’s what you should be focused on too as a writer.”

You can also view this video on YouTube.

Part 2: Tuesday, we discuss the real deal behind that fashion director controversy.

Part 3: Wednesday, White explains how she’s growing Essence.com in the face of steep competition from entertainment blogs.

‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ Book Gets 500K First Printing

Abrams will release The Oprah Winfrey Show: Reflections on an American Legacy on November 15th. According to Publishers Weekly, an initial printing of 500,000 copies has been ordered.

Here’s more from the release: “The book chronicles the full 25 years of ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ with unforgettable highlights and images, as well as essays about its indelible impact and most important themes by well-known individuals across a wide variety of areas and interests.”

Nonfiction writer Deborah Davis will write the narrative text. The book will feature a forward by poet Maya Angelou and essays by Pulitzer winner Toni Morrison and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel. All three of these authors were featured in Oprah’s book club.

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