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Letter to My Daughter
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Letter to My Daughter

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  7,103 ratings  ·  884 reviews
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.
Hardcover, 175 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Virago Press (UK) (first published September 10th 1994)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tamara
Reading Maya Angelou is like getting a big hug on a bad day. She has the most comforting voice, and may be the wisest person I can think of. I want to be like her when I grow up.

Favorite Quotes:

Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking.

I remind myself it is sufficient to know what I know, and that what I know, may not always be true.

[I] try to be present and accountable for all I do and leave undone.
EJ
Angelou's book, Letter to My Daughter caught my eye immediately as I was browsing the shelves at Barnes and Noble. I picked it up and settled in a comfy chair with my latte and my soon to be good friend Maya. I was ready for advice, wisdom, love and experiences from a woman who has lived many more lives than I could ever imagine. Not to mention one who puts it so eloquently.

It is a craving of 20somethings to be gently advised in life from those who have already gone through the same struggles. I
...more
Kate
Great book, quick read. Maya Angelou is so witty, I never realized! She is also so inspirational and genuine.
Rachel
I guess I haven't really read Maya Angelou before so I may not have acquired the taste for her writing and the requisite knowledge of the form to understand this book. I often feel this way upon encountering poetry (adult contemporary poetry--I can handle Ogden Nash and Shel Silverstein and a variety of poems we had to memorize in high school English). Though this book is mostly prose, the stylization of the prose is not my favorite (or perhaps I should say it is not in my comfort zone). The boo ...more
Elizabeth
Go ahead and judge me, I listned to this as an itunes audio file. But! with good reason. This is Maya Angelous's life story - her different trials and triumphs that have made her the woman in our history that should be so reveered. I found it fitting to listen to her tell her own story. Although, so much of this quick read is profound that I will also be getting the hard copy so that I can study her words and teachings.

pay note to her discussion on faith and god.
her coverage of race
her own dark
...more
Miyanni 4sho
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lori
A very nice read. Maya Angelou puts together some of her best writings. Some are essays, some poetry. small snippets from her many other books. She wrote the book in "dedication to her daughters" she does not have an actual daughter of her own. She wrote these short "chapters" as a love letter to the daughters of her heart. each has a lesson of what she has learned in life and what she wants to pass on to other women. I enjoyed this books quite a bit. She is a very wise and brilliant woman. anyo ...more
Shannon
My dad sent me this book when it was first released. I'm starting to think I need to drop everything I'm reading and read all of the books he's sent me, which are not nearly as close to the top of my to-read pile as they apparently should be.

This book is a love letter. It's a book that says, these are the lessons that you do not have to learn for yourself. I get a little emotional when I think about it that way actually.

I finished it in couple of hours. When I was done, I had marked something
...more
Cheryl
My rating is based on the content, voice, and my teary-eyed reading. Within a few hours, I was done reading this book and I felt as if Ms. Angelou was sitting in a chair next to me, telling me her story, and giving me advice. She opens up about a lot of things in her young adult (and adult) life--things relatable to most women.

I admit, I did feel like her daughter when I read this (yeah, yeah, I'm that sentimental).

This is one you put on the shelves and revisit every year.
Julie
It would be impossible to say what all I learned from this book. It will be one to keep close as my journey continues. I have read nearly all of Angelou's published books, so many characters and stories were familiar to me already. This book carefully selects from those experiences to offer the concise and meditative feel of a poem, condensed and more impactful, leaving a lingering need to reflect and somehow apply. My favorite pieces were the memories of her own mother, a few stories that in ju ...more
Paula
Bought this as a gift to my own daughter... as well as purchasing a copy for myself. Some excerpts:

Write down your blessing. The ship of my life may or may not be sailing on calm and amiable seas. The challenging days of my existence may or may not be bright and promising. Stormy or sunny days, glorious or lonely nights, I maintain an attitude of gratitude. If I insist on being pessimistic, there is always tomorrow. Today I am blessed.

I am never proud to participate in violence, yet, I know tha
...more
Mary Markis
A quick and easy read. Maya gives some great insight to several facets in life, supported by personal experience and perspective.

Favorite quote from the book shed light into challenges I currently am presented with in my own life:

"When I find myself filling with rage over the loss of a beloved, I try as soon as possible to remember that my concerns and questions should be focused on what I learned or what I have yet to learn from my departed love. What legacy was left which can help me in teh a
...more
Linda
Mar 03, 2009 Linda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: to every woman

I once heard Maya Angelou read from her most famous book “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” Her presence is commanding her voice thick with empathy and deep understanding of life. She was in the looking back phase at that time and I was deeply moved by her insights. As a parting note she has penned a letter to the daughters she never had, whether they be black, white or a nice mocha color. My own mother’s recent passing made her honest, soulful, revealing, unique well of ancient wisdom even more
...more
Rachel
One of my favorite quotes:

When I decide to write anything, I get caught up in my insecurity despite the prior accolades. I think, uh, uh, now they will know I am a charlatan that I really cannot write and write really well. I am almost undone, then I pull out a new yellow pad and as I approach the clean page, I think of how blessed I am.

The ship of my life may or may not be sailing on calm and amiable seas. The challenging days of my existence may or may not be bright and promising. Stormy or s
...more
Leah Claiborne
This is a beautiful book filled with Angelou's life experiences in which she invites her audiences to take part of and learn from. Every women should read this, especially young women of today. It's a book I come back to each summer as I reflect on my own life and what my journey has taught me. We all face the same struggles, we all share and will experience the same emotions, we all go through phases and cycles of our lives. Letters to my Daughter is a quick must read that will have the reader ...more
Myraelisse
“I believe in that way we learn to give and receive social lies. We look at friends who have lost dangerous amounts of weight or who have added ungainly pounds and we say, “You’re looking good.” Everybody knows the statement is a blatant lie but, we all swallow the untruth in part to keep the peace and in part because we do not wish to deal with the truth. I wish we could stop the little lies. I don’t mean that one has to be brutally frank. I don’t believe that we should be brutal about anything ...more
Susan Rose
This book is a collection of stories, poems and musings from Angelou's life written to the daughter she never had. (Be aware some of the sections in this book are taken from other books, so if you've read a lot of her work you may have read some of this before).

Favourite Quote: '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 American and Aleut. You are fat and thin and pretty and plain, gay and s
...more
Noha
I've always admired the African Americans. They're the "minority" that stood for themselves. And it happens to be February is the African American History Month, so what better way to celebrate it than reading a memoir or poem by one of their icons; Maya Angelou.

“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
...more
Elevate Difference
Maya Angelou's Letter to My Daughter is a beautiful tribute replete with lessons for younger generations of women. The prolific autobiographer chronicles her travels abroad in Europe and Africa and writes of the indignities and trials she faces at home. Every story provides a nugget of truth, its profundity startling and plainly humbling.

The volume is somewhat chronological; however, this does not make the writing any less lucid. There is no original moral. Angelou reminds us to count our bless
...more
Lola
I was at a garage sale with my mom when I stumbled across this. Recognizing the author's name and knowing it was only costing me 50 cents made this an instant sell.

While I can say I haven't wasted 50 cents, I can't say I would buy this full price. Maya Angelou is a wonderful writer, to be sure, but maybe this isn't her best work. This is my first time reading her, and I'm not sure that she lived up to the hype. There are some beautiful snippets in here, verses that just grab your heart, but i
...more
Robby
In eighth grade I wrote a report on Maya Angelou. My teacher and I had some of the greatest conversations I have ever had with anyone about this woman. Before I read anything she’s written, I knew her whole life story. I knew of the things she has been through, and I fell in love with her.
I bought this book for my mom, for Christmas. She hasn’t read it yet, because she’s been so busy, but it’s okay with me that she hasn’t had the time. I picked this book up on Thursday night and started reading.
...more
Jessica
Nov 01, 2011 Jessica rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Females of any age
Recommended to Jessica by: Gift from my mother
“Letter to My Daughter”
By Maya Angelou

This book contains many short essays written by Angelou. Each one is different, even though in some way they do connect to each other. She is speaking to the daughter she never had about lessons she’s learned in her life, and how they’ve affected her, and how they were useful to her. Containing many events that will touch someone’s life.

This is one of the most inspiring books I’ve read. This book was actually a gift from my mom. I think what caught my att
...more
Jennifer
What a beautiful book. I appreciated the wisdom and love that seemed to emanate from this work. It seems amazing to me that so much wisdom can be wrapped up in one woman and I can only hope that after a lifetime of living I will have an ounce of what she possesses. What resonated the most with me was the idea of not having your circumstances or the events of your life reduce you to a miserable being. I've had a rough year and this book reinforced the lessons I've learned this year- that I can da ...more
Lígia Bibliomigalhas
A sinopse diz tudo, ou quase tudo, sobre este pequeno livrinho que me proporcionou algumas horas de uma leitura serena e tranquila, embalada pela voz da autora, como se Maya Angelou estivesse mesmo ali, a falar-me da sua vida e das pequenas grandes lições que foi aprendendo ao longo de vários episódios e que quer partilhar com todas as suas "filhas".
Trata-se não só de uma história de vida, mas também de um pequeno livro de instruções para a vida. Pequenos textos escritos de uma forma intimista e
...more
Robin
August 13: I finished this book last night, but am not sure that I should tag the book as "read" since I immediately started it over again at the beginning. The format is lovely - a series of short essays, 2-3 pages each of "lessons learned"; some stories, some poetry.

The author's thoughts about charity were inspiring. Aside from being willing to share tangible resources, she reminds us that "to be charitable with gestures and words can bring enormous joy and repair injured feelings." And that "
...more
Shahine Ardeshir
This book was an unlikely choice for me to pick up in the first place. I remember first being introduced to Maya Angelou on the Oprah Winfrey Show, and finding her incredibly wise. Not intelligent, but almost like an Ent (from Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’, for the uninitiated of you) – full of earthy, old-wordly wisdom. I was impressed enough to give her book a try.

I chose ‘Letter to My Daughter’ because her acclaimed autobiography (I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings) sounded too heavy, and mu
...more
Mubarak
First ever book I read by the late May Angelou. She is an inspiring person her nature is so beautiful in these letters to her imaginary daughter or better yet her figurative daughter she gives you simple thought provoking statements within short meditation like letters about various topics. It was a nice book over all and I think people and me especially should give May Angelou a bigger portion of my library. Especially in these secular meaningless monocultured times we live through.
Sarah
Highly recommended. I listened to the audio book version, and particularly enjoyed that it was read by the author (and eloquent orator, I might add), Maya Angelou, herself. It added to the personal message of each of the short essays and enhanced my enjoyment overall. There are so many quotable moments, though, that I found that I'd really like a written copy of my own to go back to. Maya Angelou speaks her wisdom and opinions on the important virtues of life from her personal experiences, humbl ...more
Jamie
Dec 09, 2008 Jamie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mostly women, but anyone willing to take knowledge from another.
I have only recently begun to have an active interest in literature published by Dr. Maya Angelou, but this book definitely intensifies my interest. This book was very interesting, to say the very least. You have to respect an elderly woman who is willing to put a few of life's lessons down on paper for others to read. Her words are eloquent; she uses shorts stories, essays, poetry, and quotations to reminisce about her life and the lessons that she has learned through her experiences. The stori ...more
Kristi
Maya Angelou's free spirt, love of life and strength is contagiously inspiring. I want to be a better person after reading this book. What a gift she imparts on her readers. She seems to be all that I am not, but has sparked in me the desire to be what I can be. I do admit that I feel my little life is so different from hers - mush less colorful, lively and interesting. Part of me longs to be as outrageously wonderful! I loved the variety of these short, easy-to-read essays. My favorite was how ...more
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Message to My Daughter 1 53 Nov 21, 2008 09:29AM  
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Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Ann Johnson April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri, was an American poet, memoirist, actress and an important figure in the American Civil Rights Movement. In 2001 she was named one of the 30 most powerful women in America by Ladies Home Journal. Maya Angelou is known for her series of six autobiographies, starting with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, (1969 which was n ...more
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“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.

(Popular misquote of "You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.")”
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“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” 4197 likes
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