You Have No Idea: A Famous Daughter, Her No-nonsense Mother, and How They Survived Pageants, Holly wood, Love, Loss (and Each Other)

You Have No Idea: A Famous Daughter, Her No-nonsense Mother, and How They Survived Pageants, Holly wood, Love, Loss (and Each Other)

4.5 16
by Vanessa Williams
     
 

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The highly anticipated first book by a widely respected entertainer whose career highlights include The Right Stuff, Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives, and former Miss America

When Vanessa Williams was growing up, she had a plan: She’d go to college and major in musical theater; afterward she’d get her MFA from the Yale School of Drama, and

Overview

The highly anticipated first book by a widely respected entertainer whose career highlights include The Right Stuff, Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives, and former Miss America

When Vanessa Williams was growing up, she had a plan: She’d go to college and major in musical theater; afterward she’d get her MFA from the Yale School of Drama, and then she would embark on a successful career on Broadway. And to make sure she stayed on that path, her mother, Helen Williams, gave her a list of things that she should never— ever—do.  Near the top of that list was “never ever pose nude for anyone.”  So when Vanessa became the first African-American woman to win the title of Miss America in September 1983 (an accomplishment that she never planned for or desired), only to be forced to resign ten months later due to a nude photo scandal, the lives of both Vanessa and Helen took an unexpected turn.  But Vanessa survived this setback, and many others to come, to enjoy a thirty-plus-year career as an award-winning singer and actress. Vanessa has been asked to write her memoir many times, but only now—with the help of her mother—is she ready to tell her story.

 Vanessa grew up in Millwood, New York, part of one of the town’s only black families. As a teenager, Vanessa defied Helen, flirting with boys, drinking, and smoking pot.  But despite their early conflicts, Helen has always ardently protected her daughter, staying in contact with the FBI about the multiple death threats Vanessa received after being crowned and being there for her during the dissolution of her two marriages.

Now the mother of four children, Vanessa describes how she’s made it through the ups and downs of her life as well as her career.  Jointly written by Vanessa and Helen and filled with dozens of personal family photos and mementos, You Have No Idea is an empowering celebration of the love between a mother and daughter and the life of a woman who beat the odds to achieve her destiny.

Editorial Reviews

Vanessa Williams had a plan or, it might be accurate to say Vanessa Williams' mother had a plan: The birth announcements for her daughter read "Here she is: Miss America." To the young Vanessa, that really wasn't part of her dream agenda. She wanted to study drama at Yale and then pursue a career on Broadway. Somehow though, against her best intentions, she became a beauty pageant. In 1983, she surprised herself and the nation (but apparently not her mom) by becoming Miss America, the first African-American to be so honored. The surprises, however, didn't stop. Ten months after she took the crown, a scandal over nude photographs erupted and Williams was forced to resign. And that notoriety, believe it or not, sparked a great entertainment career that has included major roles in Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty, and The Right Stuff. In You Have No Idea, Vanessa (and, of course, her mother) reflect on an improbable, exciting career.

Edward Ash-Milby

Ebony
“A great, gossipy, advice-filled read for anyone, but moms, especially, will understand.”
Essence
“A revealing portrait of a fearless daughter and her feisty mother.”
Maria Shriver
“Vanessa Williams is a beautiful human being with a fascinating story—one of dignity in the face of adversity, determination leading to triumph. She is a wonderful mother, a devoted daughter, a gifted actress, a brilliant performer, and a dedicated friend who has always shown up for me—and so many others—when it mattered most.”
Kristen Chenoweth
“Vanessa Williams is such an inspiration, and her mother, Helen, is a dynamo. You Have No Idea is a book that will make you laugh, cry, and will ultimately leave you empowered to face whatever challenges life throws at you with grace and poise—just like these ladies have."
Diahann Carroll
“I have known Vanessa for many years and have had the great pleasure of working with her in the past. She is a strong, dynamic, and truly remarkable woman and her story is one for the ages. You Have No Idea is a must read!”
Debbie Allen
“Vanessa Williams is one of the most beautiful, talented, elegant and complex women I have ever come to know. Her story is sure to be an inspiration and a path for many who find themselves challenged but determined to succeed against all odds.”
Marc Cherry
“It's about time Vanessa Williams wrote a book about her life. Few have triumphed in as many aspects of show business and few have survived as much personal adversity. I promise you will be entertained, touched and inspired by this wonderful woman's story. (And if it sounds like I have a crush on her, I totally do.)”
Library Journal
The former Miss America and Desperate Housewives star speaks up about work, love, and life with mom. Refreshingly not a Mommie Dearest; buy for your celeb followers.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101569160
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/17/2012
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
678,078
File size:
11 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“A revealing portrait of a fearless daughter and her feisty mother.”
Essence

“A great, gossipy, advice-filled read for anyone, but moms, especially, will understand.”
Ebony

“Vanessa Williams is a beautiful human being with a fascinating story—one of dignity in the face of adversity, determination leading to triumph. She is a wonderful mother, a devoted daughter, a gifted actress, a brilliant performer, and a dedicated friend who has always shown up for me—and so many others—when it mattered most.”
—Maria Shriver

“Vanessa Williams is such an inspiration, and her mother, Helen, is a dynamo. You Have No Idea is a book that will make you laugh, cry, and will ultimately leave you empowered to face whatever challenges life throws at you with grace and poise—just like these ladies have."
—Kristen Chenoweth

Meet the Author

Vanessa Williams is a Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award–nominated singer, actress, and dancer. She has four children and divides her time between Los Angeles and Westchester County, New York.

Helen Williams
retired in 1998 after 37 years in the Ossining Public Schools as a vocal music educator and former adjunct professor at Manhattanville College School of Education. She has two children, Vanessa and Chris, and four grandchildren. She lives in Westchester County, New York.

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You Have No Idea: A Famous Daughter, Her No-nonsense Mother, and How They Survived Pageants, Hollywood, Love, Loss (and Each Other) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At last - the full story is told! I have followed Vanessa Williams career since the evening she won Miss America. After all the drama and events that occurred during her reign and resignation, we never got the full story from her perspective. Of course the press had a field day with their angles, views and assumptions - but Vanessa forged ahead - focusing on her career and family - and enjoying her life. She knew one day the time would come to tell her story. And what an incredible story it is. Brilliant idea to co-write with her mother - then you get the full Williams Family story. This book reads like you are having a conversation with Vanessa and her mom. You can't put it down and the selection of photos capture so many areas of the lives of these women - from early childhood, career, personal life - even Vanessa's dressing rooms. After this read, you will come away feeling as though you know her personally. Great job all around to everyone! Kim Davis
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting lady. Book seems a little confusing at times. Enjoyed her mother's comments. Real life experiences are sometimes shocking, but in this case rather refreshing. Would recommend to all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome Book!!!! I enjoyed every page.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is extremely rare that any hollywood personality would be this candid and open. I love the fact that she didn't hold any punches, wtih her enemies, critics or herself. It was a quick read, but a deep look at her life. Thanks.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love reading this book. It capture my attention from beginning to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had a difficult time putting this down! How fascinating to live vicariously through the lives of both Vanessa and her mother. I only wish there was more to read. Readers will enjoy the candor and insight into a side of Vanessa rarely seen. Great!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I started reading and couldnt put down until i finished it. It was so heart warming to read about all her chapters in her life and to also get her mom's view on the same situations. Times were very comical and then at times i cried. What a great mom vanessa is. Thanks for sharing your life!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Sateria More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up from the library a few days ago and have not been able to put it down. This book is very eye opening
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Finished it and loved it. I loved how she shared dozens of pictures at then end of each chapter. She gave her parents hell. Spoiler: how do act when ur mother walks in on you??????? You dont u get dress and cuddle. Hilarious. Recommended for all. Shes a tough woman.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did you know that Vanessa Williams was the Queen of Trash in The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh. Okay...