Terry McMillan

Her Books

I ALMOST FORGOT ABOUT YOU

The inspiring story of a woman who shakes things up in her life to find greater meaning.

In I Almost Forgot About You, Dr. Georgia Young's wonderful life--great friends, family, and successful career--aren't enough to keep her from feeling stuck and restless. When she decides to make some major changes in her life, quitting her job as an optometrist, and moving house, she finds herself on a wild journey that may or may not include a second chance at love. Like Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back, I Almost Forgot About You will show legions of readers what can happen when you face your fears, take a chance, and open yourself up to life, love, and the possibility of a new direction.

“Terry McMillan's novels have always been about telling the uncensored truth about friends, family, lovers, and oneself. Through addictively revealing conversations--including an instructive one about the sexual prowess of men who made the A list--McMillan's narrator is the ideal running commentator on what smart women do to reach the pinnacle of success and what they must do to get the hell out before it's too late. It's a story about both reinvention and acceptance, told in McMillan's quintessential voice, now even more expansive, prismatically perceptive, and laugh-aloud generous in how we talk about love and all its wonders.”
Amy Tan, New York Times bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club and The Valley of Amazement

“The warmth and wisdom we have come to expect from Terry McMillan are on full display and you won’t be able to walk away from Georgia and her exuberant life. This is that thrilling kind of novel that reminds us how sometimes, fairy tales happen when we least expect them, if only we open ourselves to possibility.”
Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author of Bad Feminist and An Untamed State

WHO ASKED YOU

Family ties are tested and transformed in the new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author of Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back

Kaleidoscopic, fast-paced, and filled with McMillan’s inimitable humor, Who Asked You? opens as Trinetta leaves her two young sons with her mother, Betty Jean, and promptly disappears. BJ, a trademark McMillan heroine, already has her hands full dealing with her other adult children, two opinionated sisters, an ill husband, and her own postponed dreams—all while holding down a job as a hotel maid. Her son Dexter is about to be paroled from prison; Quentin, the family success, can’t be bothered to lend a hand; and taking care of two lively grandsons is the last thing BJ thinks she needs. The drama unfolds through the perspectives of a rotating cast of characters, pitch-perfect, each playing a part, and full of surprises.

Who Asked You? casts an intimate look at the burdens and blessings of family and speaks to trusting your own judgment even when others don’t agree. McMillan’s signature voice and unforgettable characters bring universal issues to brilliant, vivid life.

GETTING TO HAPPY

An exuberant return to the four unforgettable heroines of Waiting to Exhale--the novel that changed African American fiction forever.

Terry McMillan's Waiting to Exhale was more than just a bestselling novel-its publication was a watershed moment in literary history. McMillan's sassy and vibrant story about four African American women struggling to find love and their place in the world touched a cultural nerve, inspired a blockbuster film, and generated a devoted audience.

Now, McMillan revisits Savannah, Gloria, Bernadine, and Robin fifteen years later. Each is at her own midlife crossroads: Savannah has awakened to the fact that she's made too many concessions in her marriage, and decides to face life single again-at fifty-one. Bernadine has watched her megadivorce settlement dwindle, been swindled by her husband number two, and conned herself into thinking that a few pills will help distract her from her pain. Robin has an all-American case of shopaholism, while the big dream of her life-to wear a wedding dress- has gone unrealized. And for years, Gloria has taken happiness and security for granted. But being at the wrong place at the wrong time can change everything. All four are learning to heal past hurts and to reclaim their joy and their dreams; but they return to us full of spirit, sass, and faith in one another. They've exhaled: now they are learning to breathe.

THE INTERRUPTION OF EVERYTHING

"Being a lifetime wife and mother has afforded me the luxury of having multiple and even simultaneous careers: I’ve been a chauffeur. A chef. An interior decorator. A landscape architect, as well as a gardener. I’ve been a painter. A furniture restorer. A personal shopper. A veterinarian’s assistant and sometimes the veterinarian.... An accountant, a banker, and on occasion, a broker. I’ve been a beautician. A map. A psychic. Santa Claus. The Tooth Fairy. The T.V. Guide. A movie reviewer. An angel. God....For a long time I have felt like I inadvertently got my master’s in How to Take Care of Everybody Except Yourself and then a Ph.D. in How to Pretend Like You Don’t Mind. But I do mind." - Marilyn Grimes

McMillan takes on the fault lines of midlife and family life, reminds us once again of the redeeming power of friendship, and turns her eye toward the dilemma of how a woman starts to put her own needs higher on the to-do list while not shortchanging everyone else.

Marilyn Grimes, wife and mother of three, has made a career of deferring her dreams to build a suburban California home and lifestyle with her husband, Leon. She troubleshoots for her grown kids, cares for her live-in mother-in-law, Arthurine (and elderly poodle, Snuffy); keeps tabs on her girlfriends Paulette and Bunny and her own aging mother and foster sister—all the while holding down a part-time job. But at forty-four, Marilyn’s got too much on her plate and nothing to feed her passion. She feels like she’s about ready to jump. She’s just not sure where.

Highly entertaining, deeply human, a page-turner full of heart and soul, The Interruption of Everything is vintage Terry McMillan—and a triumphant testament to the fact that the detour is the path, and living life "by the numbers" never quite adds up.

IT’S OKAY IF YOU’RE CLUELESS & 23 MORE TIPS FOR THE COLLEGE BOUND

“My career has sent me down red carpets, put me up in fancy hotels and flown around the world at least twice, Still, I always saw myself with the other proud parents: sitting in the audience, choking back tears as my one and only child walked across the stage to accept his high school diploma. When I was asked to be the guest speaker at the commencement ceremony I said no.

Fast forward, my incredible child convinced me it wasn't a bad idea, and that he wouldn't mind as long as I didn't embarrass him. To avoid being redundant and typical, I took myself back to my first steps into the world; trying to remember the things I wished people had told me. I printed up a few tips and when the time came I did what every parent should do, I talked to them.” - Terry McMillan.

"With It's Ok If You're Clueless, Terry McMillan brings her trademark wit and sass to every son and daughter about to take their first tentative steps into adulthood. Offering such nuggets as "Sit up straight," "Don't listen to your parents," and "Bring your laundry home," as well as "See the world" and "Read anything and everything,"

It's Ok If You're Clueless is packed with the common sense advice and conversational tone that have made her novels classic bestsellers. Equal parts witty and wise, It's Ok If You're Clueless is the perfect gift for the college bound.

A DAY LATE AND A DOLLAR SHORT

"I had 'em so fast they felt more like a litter, except each one turned out to be a different animal. Paris is a female lion who don't roar loud enough. lewis is a horse who don't pull his own weight. Charlotte is definitely a bull, and Janelle would have to be a sheep -- a lamb is closer to it -- 'cause she always being led out to some pasture and don't know how she got there." - Viola Price introducing her children.

And don't even ask Viola about Cecil: "He's a bad habit I've had for thirty-eight years which would make him my husband." But Cecil has some ideas for taking his hard working life into his own hands, regardless of what his wife and kids think about it.

With her hallmark exuberance and a cast of characters so sassy, resilient, and full of life that they breathe, dream, and shout right off the page, Terry McMillan has given us a tour-de-force novel of family, healing and redemption. A Day Late and a Dollar Short takes us deep into the hearts, minds, and souls of America—and gives us six more friends we never want to leave.

Also a Lifetime Original Movie starring Whoopi Goldberg.

HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK

Stella Payne is forty-two, divorced, a high-powered investment analyst, mother of eleven-year-old Quincy- and she does it all. She does it all well, too, if her chic house, personal trainer, BMW, and her loving son are any indication. So what if there’s been no one to share her bed with lately, let alone rock her world? She probably wouldn’t have the energy for love – and all of love’s nasty fallout – anyway. But when Stella takes a spur-of-the-moment vacation to Jamaica, her world gets rocked to the core – not just by the relaxing effects of the sun and sea and an island full of attractive men, but by one man in particular. He’s tall, lean, soft-spoken, Jamaican, smells of citrus and the ocean – and is half her age. Not only must Stella confront her hopes and fears about love, she must question all of her expectations, passions, and ideas about life and the way she has lived it.

Also a major motion picture starring Angela Bassett and Taye Diggs.

WAITING TO EXHALE

When the men in their lives prove less than reliable, four women find new strength through a rare and enlightening friendship as they struggle to regain stability and an identity they don’t have to share with anyone. Because for the first time in a long time, their dreams are finally off hold. “Hilarious, irreverent… thoroughly entertaining.” --The New York Times Book Review “Women, triumph, revenge, comradeship… Waiting To Exhale is a paean to the sisterhood of all women.” --Los Angeles Times Book Review

“McMillan puts someone you know, something you’ve felt or heard, on each page… The daily drama in the women’s lives plays so vividly, the characters so real, that you’ll wonder if McMillan hasn’t somehow overheard a private conversation. In the end, you’ll cheer for Savannah, Bernadine, Gloria, and Robin. But the cheering starts for McMillan on the first page.” –The Boston Globe

Also a major motion picture starring Whitney Houston, Wesley Snipes, and Angela Bassett.

DISAPPEARING ACTS

Disappearing Acts takes a close look at what it takes to make love real. After the laughter and the love-making, how hard must two people work and how much must they sacrifice, to still be there the morning after. Construction worker Franklin Swift meets Zora Banks when she moves into her renovated brownstone. She's an aspiring singer/songwriter who teaches at a public school. He works construction while dreaming of having his own business. But not by himself. Franklin wants Zora by his side. It takes strength to build a life. It takes strength to keep love alive. Sometimes you can't do both. Franklin faces challenges at work and Zora faces the challenge of her chosen career and choosing Franklin. Together they will soon discover that it's easy to build a love affair and hard to make it last.

Also an HBO Feature Film starring Wesley Snipes and Sanaa Lathan.

BREAKING ICE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN CONTEMPORARY FICTION

A striking collection of works from authors both established and emerging, this was the first original anthology of African-American writing in over a decade when it was published over 25 years ago. Featured contributors include: J. California Cooper, Marita Golden, Gloria Naylor, Darryl Pinckney, Ntozake Shange, Alice Walker, Ishmael Reed, Terry McMillan, and many others.

MAMA

Mama was originally a story, Ma' Dear, that I workshopped with my writing group, The Harlem Writer's Guild. It was inspired by events from my childhood and characters from Port Huron where I grew up. It is not an auto-biography. Fiction is running reality through the lens of a lie. The structure might be taken from the past, a point of departure, a framework, but the details are all lifted right out of my imagination.” - Terry McMillan

Mildred Peacock is the touch, funny, feisty heroine of Mama, a survivor who'll do anything to keep her family together. In Mildred's world, men come and go as quickly as her paychecks, but her five children are her dream, her hope and her future. Not since Alice Walker's The Color Purple has a black woman's story been portrayed with such rich power, honesty, and love.