Megan Harlan
September 26, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Even the Stars Look Lonesome

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Maya Angelou
genre
Essays

We gave it a B

Maya Angelou’s ease with both highbrow and middlebrow culture — from poet to Oprah party pal — is evident in these 20 short essays in Even the Stars Look Lonesome. Whether exploring her early career as a nightclub singer, or ruminating on subjects from aging and sexuality to African art and Clarence Thomas’ Supreme Court nomination, Angelou balances lofty language with keenly self-aware wit (like on her sixtysomething penchant for wearing ”gaudy” outfits). But many pieces — such as the one blaming her failed marriage on an unfriendly house — feel as incomplete as they are brief, like sketches deserving full portraiture. B

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