Maya Angelou ReferenceOct 14, 2011
Dr. Jacqueline Thursby, professor of folklore and American studies, has recently published Critical Companion to Maya Angelou: A Literary Reference to Her Life and Work (2011). This comprehensive and up-to-date resource on the contemporary American writer Maya Angelou provides a biography, chronology of major events in her life, descriptions of related people, places and topics, and a bibliography of Angelou’s works. It also includes synopses and critical commentaries of all of Angelou’s major works – including her autobiographies, major poems and poetry collections, her major essays and essay collections, and her children’s books. Published as one of a series on Great American Writers, this book is a significant contribution to scholarship.
A colleague, Dr. Gloria Cronin, praised the book recently during a faculty luncheon in honor of Dr. Thursby’s book. She described the work as “a much needed reference book on an American author who has been more publically celebrated than many of her generation, and been rendered scant justice in the critical literature.” Cronin went on to say that this book “will be the first stop for the next serious scholar on Angelou’s legacy. Now, with this elegantly executed effort of Professor Thursby’s solidly behind them, scholars can at last move forward to a far more serious critical accounting of Angelou than has hitherto been possible.” Dr. Thursby has said of the work, “I have meant for it to be a genuine tribute to her. My hope is that it will make her corpus of work much more accessible to her many devoted readers.” Apparently, the book has received the approval of Maya Angelou, who requested a copy of it for both her office and her home. Angelou is currently on the faculty of Wake Forest University in North Carolina.