Published by Random House, this book is the seventh and final of her autobiographical works. In this work, Angelou talks about her mother, Vivian Baxter, and the turbulent but eventually loving relationship the two enjoyed. On writing about her mother:
I wanted to write about her about 20 years ago, but the book wasn’t ready. And I suppose I wasn’t ready. I hadn’t learned enough. I didn’t know that love was healing. I didn’t understand that and I think I was still wrapped in an erroneous belief that love had something to do with sentimentality and mush and romance. And after years I found…as strange as it may seem…it was love which allowed her to send her children away because she wasn’t ready for children.