Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Letter to My Daughter” as Want to Read:
Letter to My Daughter
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Letter to My Daughter

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  16,369 ratings  ·  1,815 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 Angelous path to living well and living a life with meaning. Told in her own inimitable style, this book transcends genres and
...more
Hardcover, 166 pages
Published September 23rd 2008 by Random House (first published 2008)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  16,369 ratings  ·  1,815 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Letter to My Daughter
Tamara
Oct 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Cheri
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, 2017, faith
Theres part of me that just wants to hold onto this lovely little gem of a book, to just hold onto these words a little longer in the hopes theyll more thoroughly permeate my soul. Theres the other part of me that wants to share her message, abounding in beauty, grief, tenderness, joy, life lessons overflowing with wisdom, faith. Most of all, her wisdom, the knowledge and understanding she shares on life; and while this book is a letter to the daughters she never gave birth to, she acknowledges ...more
Candi
"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 straight, educated and unlettered, and I am speaking to you all. Here is my offering to you."

This is a lovely series of Maya Angelou's essays dedicated to all women of the world. She shares some of her most touching life stories, divulges words of wisdom, and muses on those topics
...more
Bionic Jean
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 straight, educated and unlettered, and I am speaking to you. Here is my offering to you.

So speaks Maya Angelou in the Preface to Letter to My Daughter, her third book of essays. The book is a slim volume, containing twenty-eight short pieces, which are titled by theme. Examples are
...more
sarah xoxo
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
2020 non fiction book 2 out 12

Letter To My Daughter is a short collection of essays by Maya Angelou. Dedicated to all her daughters around the world, it combines personal anecdotes, motivational passages and general musings about the world.

I listened to the audiobook, narrated by the author herself and that in itself was motivational. She is undoubtably a phenomenal woman, and hearing her read to me was like getting a warm hug mixed with a pep talk.

The book started off strong, but towards the
...more
Marilyn C.
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible, read-in-2017
4.5 Stars

"You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them."

I listened to Maya Angelou, with her mesmerizing voice, read her inspiring and thought provoking words written for the daughters she never had throughout the world. This book is full of wisdom and deep insight, and you cannot help but to be moved by this woman's generous spirit.

I highly recommend listening to this book and I thought the essays were so powerful I will be purchasing a
...more
Diane S ☔
Mar 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wisdom imparted, garnered from a lifetime of pain and joy, essays written to the daughters of the world, she had none of her own. Simply beautiful.
EJ
Oct 04, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
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.
...more
Mariah Roze
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this book for the Diversity in All Forms book club! If you would like to participate in the discussion here is the link: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

"Dedicated to the daughter she never had but sees all around her, Letter to My Daughter reveals Maya Angelous 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
...more
Marnie  (Enchanted Bibliophile)
Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.


There is a lot of wisdom in this little book. Maya Angelou gives us live lessons of her own to help guide us and make us understand why life is sometimes cruel.
She also added some beautiful poetry that gives this book a little extra something special.

I've never read any of her work before, but after this I'm definitely adding I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings to my TBR pile.
Amber
Nov 07, 2019 rated it liked it
"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 the art of living a good life?



Did I learn to be kinder,


To be more patient,


And more generous,


More loving,


More ready to laugh,
And more easy to accept honest tears?


If I accept those legacies of my departed beloveds, I am able to say,
...more
Cheryl
My rating of this is based on the content, voice, and my teary-eyed reading experience. Within a few hours, I was done reading this book and I felt as if Maya Angelou was sitting next to me, telling me her story, and giving me advice. She discloses a few things about her young adult (and adult) life, things relatable to most women. Admittedly, I did feel like her daughter when I read this (yes, I'm that sentimental).
Jessica
Feb 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I listened to this on Audible and loved having Dr Angelous voice read this to me. Her first chapters had me nodding along in agreement and tearing up in certain places.

However, towards the end I was slightly lost in the message but overall its Maya Angelou, shes phenomenally woman.
...more
Marc
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Maya Angelou (1928-2014) was one of the faces of the struggle for the rights of African-Americans and for women in the US (and beyond), and of course, she was also a very well known writer. I already read her most famous book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings about her traumatic childhood experiences that she turned into a battle for positive values. These life lessons more or less are also presented in this booklet, as a kind of memoires. It is a mixture of musings about life, connected with her ...more
Hiba Arrame
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: شعر-poetry
Right now I honestly regret not having read anything by Maya Angelou before, I loved the book, every bit of it, the experiences it holds are unexpectedly inspiring, reading Maya Angelou's words is similar to being tightly embraced by a mother to all the daughters who will read this book, by having your soul soothed by these beautiful words.
A lot of wisdom in not so many pages.
Salema
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Letter to my daughter is a tribute made by Maya Angelou to all the women in the world. It is a compilation of personal stories, advices, and poetry.

Considered a strong woman figure with having an indomitable voice in social issues, she does not shy away from admitting her mistakes and shortcomings in this book. She talks about her personal struggles with love, depression, kindness, and faith. A healthy dose of humor is sprinkled throughout the book. You do not have to agree with everything she
...more
Erica
I may not agree with everything Maya Angelou puts forth in this, her letter to daughters everywhere, but I wholeheartedly believe we all need a voice like hers in our lives to guide and instruct us.

This became Book Two in my inadvertent themed reading spree because I read it to directly compare with Book One, Between the World and Me. That was a letter to the author's son, this is a letter to the author's daughters, the two published less than a decade apart.

Unlike Coates' work, this one did
...more
Bree Hill
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read half of this on my e-reader and listened to the second half on audio. I dont think any other writer couldve put this out into the world and it have the impact on me like it did coming from Dr. Maya Angelou.

I seriously just feel like she wrote this for all women, her daughters, and its a Must that we all read it. Will all of the lessons reach you how they should right now..not necessarily..but put them in your back pocket for later. Nothing wrong with being prepared.
...more
Rachel
Aug 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Anushree
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
She has always been an inspiration in so many ways. Her 'Phenomenal Woman' and 'Still I Rise' are such liberating pieces of poetry.

"Letter to my Daughter" is a collection of short essays through which Maya Angelou wishes to address the daughters she could never have with little nuggets of wisdom that she found useful in her own life. She shares various anecdotes, sometimes with hilarious undertones and sometimes with blunt viciousness.

Raised by two strong and level-headed women, Maya Angelou
...more
Shannon
May 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
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
Maria
Dec 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I started this book a long, long time ago. Things became really hectic, and I wasn't able to finish it. Well yesterday was finally the right time to sit down and read it (somewhat again). I ended up starting over and I read 79 pages in one sitting. Today I read the remaining pages. I loved it. I love Maya Angelou. Her style is one of my absolute favorites.

This book isn't like the storytelling in her autobiographies that are loved by so many. Rather it's a collection of her experiences, poetry,
...more
The Reading Countess
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult, poetry, ebook, essays
I am embarrassed to say that this is my first Maya Angelou book, but I daresay it won't be my last. Wow. Part essay, part poetry, part instruction manual for life, Letter to My Daughter is a love letter to all women.

You see, Dr. Angelou never had a daughter. She was the mother of one son, and she will tell you how he came to be in Letter to My Daughter because this is personal. This is what you want your mom or grandmom to whisper to you as the shucked peas plop into the sink.

Motherhood, her
...more
Alice Lippart
Very much like a hug in book format and it's made me desperately want to read Angelou's autobiographies.
Kate
Nov 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Great book, quick read. Maya Angelou is so witty, I never realized! She is also so inspirational and genuine.
Kate
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a memoir of sorts. It is a collection of Maya Angelous thoughts, experiences, and anecdotes of her life. ...more
Carly Friedman
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this inspirational and moving collection of missives to Angelous daughters. Wonderful insight into her experiences and lessons to ponder. ...more
Nicole Perry
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I would like to consider myself one of Maya Angelou's daughters (no offense to my actual mother, of course). She has so much wisdom to pass along. Hearing the audio book read by the author reinforced the dignity and class that is Maya Angelou!
Teresa
Jan 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
I need to review books before moving on to the next one. I always do a better job when it is still fresh in my mind.

This slim volume has substance and unusual topics. What a remarkable life Maya Angelou lived and yet, how humble and thoughtful in her musings.

I was especially struck by several chapters. I loved that she echoed my feelings on vulgarity.

"We need to have the courage to say obesity is not funny and vulgarity is not amusing. Insolent children and submissive parents are not the
...more
Sonja Arlow
I specifically wanted the audio book as she really had a very distinct voice and I wanted HER to tell her own story.

Only about 1/3 held life stories of universal wisdom while also showing a very humble (and funny) woman. I would have given this book a higher rating had there been more of these because I truly loved them. Some of my favourites were:

1) The Moroccan coffee experience
2) The rugs in a house in Senegal
3) The restaurant scene with the waitress and grits

I am not going to elaborate on
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • What I Know for Sure
  • Pequeno Manual Antirracista
  • Pós-F
  • Sons da Fala
  • Bukača
  • Gilgamesh Retold
  • The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life's Direction and Purpose
  • Talvez precisemos de um nome para isso
  • The Wild Unknown Archetypes Deck and Guidebook
  • Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions
  • Little Leaders: Exceptional Men in Black History
  • We Should All Be Feminists
  • No Thanks: Black, Female, and Living in the Martyr-Free Zone
  • Encruzilhada
  • Love Poems and A Good Cry
  • Maria Bonita: Sexo, violência e mulheres no cangaço
  • Romance de Cordélia (Finisterra)
See similar books…
9,637 followers
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 ...more

Related Articles

February is African American History Month, which is the pefect opportunity to expand your reading horizons. Of course, there are the classic Ame...
99 likes · 42 comments
“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.")”
6946 likes
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” 4885 likes
More quotes…