* From Maya Angelou - one of the most celebrated writers and poets of the world - her marvellous new book, now in paperback
There is no-one quite like Maya Angelou. Poet to the president, champion of the people, best-selling autobiographer, her experiences as dancer, singer, waitress, activist, director, teacher, wife and mother, have made her one of the few people truly qualified to share her lessons of a lifetime. With her customary courage and humour - and always with style and grace - she reflects on the people and places she has known. She talks about Africa and ageing, she gives us a profile of her great friend and 'daughter' Oprah Winfrey, she sings the praises of sensuality. But here too are her thoughts on the end of a much-wanted marriage, confessions of rage and the importance of solitude. EVEN THE STARS LOOK LONESOME is the work of a wonderful woman who is not afraid to admit to the mistakes and vulnerabilities that make us human.
Dr Maya Angelou was one of the world's most important writers and activists. Born 4 April 1928, she lived and chronicled an extraordinary life: rising from poverty, violence and racism, she became a renowned author, poet, playwright, civil rights' activist - working with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King - and memoirist. She wrote and performed a poem, 'On the Pulse of Morning', for President Clinton on his inauguration; she was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama and was honoured by more than seventy universities throughout the world.
She first thrilled the world with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969). This was followed by six volumes of autobiography, the seventh and final volume, Mom & Me & Mom, published in 2013. She wrote three collections of essays; many volumes of poetry, including His Day is Done, a tribute to Nelson Mandela; and two cookbooks. She had a lifetime appointment as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University of North Carolina. Dr Angelou died on 28 May 2014.