2017 Audie Award Finalist for Autobiography/Memoir
From Taraji P. Henson, Academy Award nominee, Golden Globe winner, and star of the award-winning film Hidden Figures, comes an inspiring and funny memoir—“a bona fide hit” (Essence)—about family, friends, the hustle required to make it in Hollywood, and the joy of living your own truth.
With a sensibility that recalls her beloved screen characters, including Katherine, the NASA mathematician, Yvette, Queenie, Shug, and the iconic Cookie from Empire, Taraji P. Henson writes of her family, the one she was born into and the one she created. She shares stories of her father, a Vietnam vet who was bowed but never broken by life’s challenges, and of her mother who survived violence both at home and on DC’s volatile streets. Here, too, she opens up about her experiences as a single mother, a journey some saw as a burden but which she saw as a gift.
Around the Way Girl is also a classic actor’s memoir in which Taraji reflects on the world-class instruction she received at Howard University and how she chipped away, with one small role after another, at Hollywood's resistance to give women, particularly women of color, meaty significant roles. With laugh-out-loud humor and candor, she shares the challenges and disappointments of the actor’s journey and shows us that behind the red carpet moments, she is ever authentic. She is at heart just a girl in pursuit of her dreams in this “inspiring account of overcoming adversity and a quest for self-discovery, written with vitality and enthusiasm” (Shelf Awareness).
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Of all the fierce roles we've seen Taraji P. Henson play, Around the Way Girl may showcase her best one yet: herself. There's a thoughtful gravity in Henson's voice when she narrates childhood memories like her tough-love dad throwing her into a pool, or professional anecdotes like her initial decision to turn down the career-defining role of Empire’s Cookie to avoid typecasting. In the end, it's not just Henson's experiences that make such a strong impression on the listener; it’s her wise reflections about what they say about her and about society.
Thank you Taraji
This book made my perspective on life,family and hustle change to a direction of peace and clarity. Thank you Taraji💙
I would never knew this
Best Inspirational Memoir
I myself am a super fan of Taraji P. Henson’s work and how she fought to convey her presence in the eyes of Hollywood. Her story in the beginning is similar to mine in the sense that I am an aspiring doctor who has faced many trials and tribulations up to this time in my life and am now finally seeing a breakthrough. With the nuance of students applying these days I have only been a number. All it takes is that one person to tell you yes and to give you a chance for you to see the light that has constantly been dimmed. I am so humbled by how she remains true to not only herself but to those around her especially her son and mother. With all the money and nice material things that come with the Hollywood paychecks she has not changed. She is and will always be a success story for all ages to hear and she has specifically touched my life. Thank you for this book Taraji.