Terry McMillan is the critically acclaimed, award-winning author of six novels and recipient of the Essence Award for Excellence in Literature. McMillan's ability to capture the dilemmas facing modern-day women with humor and verve has led to a worldwide following and has had a lasting effect on African-American literature. Two of her books, Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back, have also been made into films.
This biography was last updated on 12/11/2010.
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An Interview with Terry McMillan
Unlike your recent fiction, your first novel, Mama, was about a
young mother struggling to keep her family together. Are there ways in which A
Day Late and A Dollar Short is a revisiting of the themes and issues in Mama?
How similar are Mildred and Viola?
I don't think the themes are similar in Mama and A Day Late because in Mama, I was mainly concerned with the hardships one woman endured in trying to raise five children, mostly alone, and how far she was willing to go to give them a good life. In A Day Late, I think Viola, the protagonist shares some of the strengths that Mildred showed in Mama, but Viola is a tad more vulnerable in that she admits her weaknesses. Her concern for her children is, of course, out of love but also because she really doesn't have a life of her own. Further, the themes I tried to address in A Day Late dealt more with missed opportunities, sibling rivalry, misconceptions parents and children have about each other but perceive them as truths, as well as the whole notion and role that birth order plays in a family.
Each of the six narrators possesses a distinct voice. Who was the easiest person for you to "capture"? The most difficult? Who ...
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