by Diane Patrick
Born in Port Huron, Michigan, in 1951, McMillan was raised by her mother, her father died when she was sixteen. Although staying in her small-town milieu would have been the easiest path, McMillan gambled on a brighter future: With only a dream and meager savings, she moved to California and began writing poetry and short fiction. Several years later, she left for New York City, where she struggled for a time as a single mother and office clerk before she finally found acceptance of her work. When her first novel, Mama (1987), received minimal support from her publisher, she promoted it on her own. She found millions of fans, both black and white, and in the process changed the way the book industry looks at black America.
Hardcover: 231 pages