Episode 176: Maya Angelou, Part Two

Russell Mondy, via Flikr

Maya Angelou was a writer, poet, memoirist, civil rights activist, entertainer, director, producer, mom, friend…but she was most masterful at sharing her life with the perfect collections of words. We use the best one we can muster to share her remarkable life story. (And a lot of them, this is going to take three episodes.)

In this, Part Two of Maya’s story, we begin with a teenage Marguerite/Maya giving birth to her son, Clyde Bailey Johnson (who later changed his name to “Guy” so we use that through the rest of the episode…one name change per subject is enough, don’t you think?)  We go through her tumultuous/exciting/brave/terrifying early adult years, her many jobs, her stage and singing career, her burgeoning civil rights activism, her life as a “wife” and journalist in Cairo, and, then, as a single mom and journalist in Ghana.

Aaaand then we stop. Why? Because we were so enthralled by her story that, after two full episodes, we had yet to get to the part where she starts writing books! In this episode we are still almost a decade out from her very first memoir, the thing she is most known for. Because there is so much left of Maya’s life to talk about, we decided not to race through it, but to break it into an unprecedented (for us) three-part series.

Part Three will be ready for your ears next week. All of the media recommendations will be in the shownotes for that episode.

Episode 142: Louisa May Alcott, Revisited

With the new Little Women movie directed by Greta Gerwig out this Christmas, we thought that we should take a look back at our coverage of the life of its writer, Louisa May Alcott. Louisa wrote the book based on life with her sisters, but how much of that life is reflected in the pages? One way to find out: Learn about her life! (Spoiler: There are quite a few differences.)


For the shownotes for this episode, please follow this link LOUISA MAY ALCOTT SHOWNOTES.


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Episode 119: Phillis Wheatley


Phillis Wheatley was an accomplished poet and the first African American to have a book published. Her work chronicles Revolutionary War era America, focuses on the people she knew and explains the faith that she held dear. The fact that she was ripped from her family, sold into slavery and grew up in an unusual situation gave depth and a unique perspective to her work but, most importantly, makes her someone we all need to know.


Episode 56: Dorothy Parker, Part Two

dorothyparker framed


When we left Dorothy Parker in Part One she was hanging on tenuously at best. Her marriage to Eddie Parker was over, her relationship with George MacArthur was over and the fall-out somewhat stabilized and her suicide attempt was unsuccessful. Professionally she was cobbling together a career as a freelance writer but powered by a steady diet of alcohol she was dancing on the edge.

It was the wild 20s, afterall. (No, this isn't Dorothy)

It was the wild 20s, afterall. (No, this isn’t Dorothy, but you knew that)