4.5 41
by Terry McMillan

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The explosive novel that introduced #1 New York Times bestselling author Terry McMillan-now in a new trade edition.  See more details below


The explosive novel that introduced #1 New York Times bestselling author Terry McMillan-now in a new trade edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This is McMillan's zesty first novel about an impoverished black family's struggle to overcome its problems.
Library Journal
Mama, a first novel, tells of a proud black woman, Mildred Peacock, and her five children. After a violent fight, Mildred throws her drunken husband out of the house. On her own in the poor town of Point Haven, Michigan, Mildred scrimps and drinks, works and goes on welfare, struggling to raise her kids and keep her sanity. Mildred's closest bond is to her oldest daughter, Freda, and their lives parallel each other's progress from despair to hope. The book's main weakness is that the author apparently could not decide what to leave out. She also has not decided who her audience is: at times she seems to be writing to blacks, at other times to be explaining things to naive white readers. Although the story has power, it lacks focus and a clear point of view.
-- Janet Boyarin Blundell, MLS, Brookdale Community College Adjunct Faculty, Lincroft, New Jersey

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.98(w) x 5.22(h) x 0.74(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Ishmael Reed
When it comes to portraying the authentic style of marginal Americans, Terry MacMillan has few peers. Her prose is brilliant and exhilarating.

Meet the Author

Terry McMillan is the critically acclaimed, award-winning author of five previous novels and recipient of the Essence Award for Excellence in Literature.

Brief Biography

Danville, California
Date of Birth:
October 18, 1951
Place of Birth:
Port Huron, Michigan
B.S. in journalism, UC-Berkeley, 1979; M.F.A. in film, Columbia University, 1980

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Mama 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book back in 1993, during a time when urban literature was scarce. It was a good read and it taught my teenage self the harsh reality of life as a single mother. Reading it again will be like revisiting an old friend. Terry get out of that writer's block funk and give us another masterpiece. Black literature these days lack substance and its all the same plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jwikp More than 1 year ago
This book held me to the end. It is one that speaks to all women. It's a book that lets you understand why we are strong women. We listen,respect,and stay strong in our journey of leaving childhood and becoming woman. Through the hurt and the joy. The respect we give to mama,friend andmost important self. It give learning information of the heart.
AngelEyezAR More than 1 year ago
The book was outstanding and I would recommend this book to everyone. It is very informative and inspirational. If you are a single mother going through alot in an having to it all yourself. Go and pick the book and read. It is a huge eye opener
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
cali_sunshine More than 1 year ago
I read this book but it was a hard read...maybe it was just too real. I completely understand working hard and never getting a break because that's life for some. I would feel more about this book if it were a biography because there would be a reason to read about this hard life. We read biographies to know about that person and have no real expectation of "getting a break", or a happy or enlightened ending. But for fiction I just would have liked for something good to happen to Mama. Not my favorite book by Terry M. but did encourage me to read more of her writing to see what she expressed in her next book...this was my 1st TM book read.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The story of a single mom is good and i can feel her pain. But, the way she never got a break in life. and how the heart ache and pain she went through was alot for one to bare and i wished she had gotten a break somewhere in the middle of the book and not at the end after her father died. but inspite that it is a very good way of looking into a black families life to see how it was in those days for women especially black women and tring to take care of 5 babies. i know i got 4.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, I read it in just 3 days its a really great story about survival as a single mom although Mama went through her share of husbands. It didn't make sense how Freda grew up to be so smart and stupid at the same time though but at least she improved. I liked the ending but it wasn't all what I expected but the book is a page-turner that will have you laughing and feeling sad sometimes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first read this book 8 years ago, and I thought that the words she said was true for some woman. Terry made woman feel good and confident about theirselves on how they was taking care of their children. Now that I am back in college and have 6 children this book will be a good book report because this book is a good inspiration to me in my life right now.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I initially read this book a few years ago. Mama was a piece of work. I couldn't wait to read further to find out was going to happen next. The book was a real page turner (for me). Enjoyed every page!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
i hated this book. i actually stopped reading it. Ihated that everthing nerver turned out how i wanted it too. I also hated how terry mcmilloan jumbed from setting to setting. i guess you could say this wasn't my cup of tea
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mama is by far one of the most incredible books I have ever read. It opened up my mind to see what my mother really goes through. Terry makes you feel is if you are apart of the novel, especially when Freda smacks her mother. I would recommene this book to any one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was the bomb. I like to read but some books make me want to stop. This was an extremely good book. Had me from the time I pick it up from the book shelf. I was sort of mad when the book was over but I just picked up another book by this incredible author, she never lets me down. GREAT JOB TERRI!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I did audio instead of reading; I thought this was a great book. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me say, 'you gotta lot a nerves' and it even made me say, 'that's what you get'. It ought to be a Movie! With Jenifer Lewis playin' mama and Kimberly Elise as the grown-up Freda.
Guest More than 1 year ago
terry mac millian makes people want to start reading. Mama was my first novel that i ever picked up and took the time to read.. terry macmillian inspired me to start reading more books written by other africian americian writters. A book like mama would make younger people like me wanting to read books..mama was and extroidinary book and i hope terry comes out with a series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read all of your books.Theymade me cry,laugh,and mad.It made me feel like I was actaully there!!! I LOVED IT.I hope u make a movie about Mama.....
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first Terry McMillan book I read and I have to say, it far exceeded my expectations. Doll and Bootsy's characters were so versatile. Talk about drama. I laughed, cried, and sometimes, vented at the pages. Someone mentioned the use of profanity in the book. I agree to an extent; however, life experiences ARE sometimes profane and those profane experiences are explained profanely. I thought the use of profanity to express various profane circumstances was appropriate and gave me the ability to relate to the experiences more than if she had softened or flowered them up to risk not offending me. I couldn't put it down. I read this book twice in one week. That's how much I was feeling it. All I can say is I haven't read all of her books, but reading this one made me go out and read "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" and "Waiting to Exhale" immediately.