Friday, February 27, 2015

Multiple Books in the McNaughton Collection Highlight Women’s History

Photo Courtesy of Bing Images

Women’s history is a top priority for avid readers and many scholars, commonly in the month of March. Particularly on March 9th, International Women's Day, and for the rest of the month, annually, March is Women’s History month. 

Within the McNaughton Collection, located near the Information Commons Area on the first floor of the Schwob Library, there are many novels and books that highlight the accomplishments, accolades, and lives of many prolific and talented women. Authors such as Joyce Carol Oates and, comedienne, Whoopi Goldberg are just a few writers a part of the growing collection.

Primarily, Maya Angelou’s “Mom & Me & Mom” demonstrates the respect between, bond, and culture of two women, Angelou and her mother, Vivian Baxter. The novel, seventh and final work of Angelou, is a part of a series of autobiographies; it reviews Angelou’s life and intimate moments with Baxter, Baxter’s early abandonment of her children and the reunion of Angelou and her mother.

The "I know Why the Caged Bird Sings" author’s previous works did not highlight her relationship and feelings toward her mother, to whom did not raise her and her older brother, Bailey, compared to her other works. Raised by her grandmother until thirteen and then sent to live with her mother, in San Francisco, Angelou describes how her mother inspired and encouraged her talents, passions, and maternal relationship with her own child as a teenage mother throughout her life and after her mother’s death. 

The novel begins circa Maya’s teen years and revisits many events and memories cherished and important to the poet. Pictures of Angelou, her son, Guy, mother and other members of her family appear throughout the book. An audio version, read by Angelou, was released in CD form and as a digital download. 

Angelou revisits and chronicles the unconditional love, support, and care they gave to each other, as Baxter helps her through single motherhood, a failed marriage, and career setbacks. The book ends with her mother's death of lung cancer accompanied by the book’s infamous lines, where the Phenomenal Woman tells her mother "You were a terrible mother of small children, but there has never been anyone greater than you as a mother of a young adult."

Outside of “Mom & Me & Mom,” there are multiple books and novels available in the McNaughton Collection. Be sure to check out the new additions and selections in the Schwob Library. 

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