An Evening with Best-Selling Author Terry McMillan
Tuesday, February 27, 2024
One of America’s most beloved and critically-acclaimed authors, Terry McMillan became the empowering voice of a generation of women with her New York Times #1 bestsellers Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Known for “irreverent, pitch perfect tales of women’s lives,” McMillan’s seven bestsellers are rich in fearless wisdom, heart-touching characters and unforgettable stories of friendships, healing, intergenerational bonds and women saving their own lives. A passionate champion of growing older by looking joyously forward, McMillan boldly rejects the concept of “mid-life crisis.” Instead, she evangelizes that anyone, at any age, can “change lanes” to reinvent themselves, overcome obstacles, get out of ruts and pursue postponed dreams. As a speaker, artist and woman of hard-won wisdom, McMillan challenges us to tap into our passions, defeat our demons, take care of our whole selves, and never, ever take happiness for granted.
McMillan’s latest novel, It’s Not All Downhill from Here, was published in March of 2020. The novel focuses on a group of women who went to high school together, but later went down different paths. However, after a loss, they reunited. McMillan illustrates the many challenges these women face and how they pull themselves up through the power of friendship and forgiveness.
McMillan first encountered the power of words, storytelling and the works of James Baldwin while shelving books as a public library page at the age of 14. She became the first in her family to attend college, earning degrees from UC Berkeley and Columbia University. As an aspiring writer and single mother in New York City, McMillan started her days before dawn, writing as much as she could before it was time to get the baby ready and take the train to work. She edited on the subway and rewrote during her lunch break, editing again on the ride home. McMillan’s hard work and commitment paid off. Her first novel, Mama, received critical acclaim, including an American Book Award. Her second novel, Disappearing Acts, immediately sold more than two million copies. McMillan wrote Waiting to Exhale during her tenure as a professor at University of Arizona. The hardcover release spent more than 38 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list and became a Grammy and MTV Movie Award-winning blockbuster. Her next #1 bestseller, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, was also turned into a hit major motion picture. McMillan’s next book, A Day Late and a Dollar Short debuted at #1 on the New York Times Best Seller List. Her body of work includes the bestsellers The Interruption of Everything, Getting to Happy, and Who Asked You? Her book, I Almost Forgot About You is the inspiring story of a woman who shakes things up in her life to find greater meaning—personifying the author’s empowering messages about reinvention at any age. In all, McMillan’s books have sold millions of copies worldwide. Four have been made into major motion pictures and made-for TV movies. McMillan is an Essence Lifetime Achievement Award winner, a featured guest in Oprah’s Life Class and has appeared on shows ranging from The View and Tavis Smiley to The Daily Show.
As a speaker, McMillan dives into the many themes of her books and shares her own personal journey through challenges, relationships, addiction and health issues. With signature sass and disarming authenticity, she connects to audiences through powerful storytelling and a constant credo: It’s never too late to become the person that you want to be.
Support the Friends of the Palm Springs Library by attending Palm Springs Speaks at Palm Springs Cultural Center/Historic Camelot Theatres. A VIP Meet and Greet reception kicks off the evening on the stage of Theatre One at 6:00 p.m. The main author talk begins at 7:30 p.m. complete with a brief Q & A session.
SPEAKER SELECTION COMMITTEE
Jeannie Kays, Director of Library Services, Palm Springs Public Library
Julie Warren, Public Relations & Library Services Manager, Palm Springs Public Library
Ron Willison, Producer
Receive news and announcements from Palm Springs straight to your inbox