Mary Williams is a writer based in the Southwest. She is the author of the children s book "Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan." She has also written for "McSweeney s" and "O, " the Oprah Magazine."
""The Lost Daughter" is an extraordinary memoir. In fact, this is exactly the kind of story for which memoir was born. Mary Williams has lived more lives than a dozen other women combined. Some of those lives have been brutal and others have been blessed, but she regards every aspect of her remarkable journey with the same sense of clarity, honesty, compassion, and (in delightful outbursts) vivacious wit. I marvel at this book, at this life, at this unforgettable account of a mighty and uncrushable human being." Elizabeth Gilbert, author of "Eat, Pray, Love" and "Committed" "I've known Mary Williams for almost ten years now, and I always hoped she would tell her incredible story. She's a writer of uncommon clarity and humor, and the arrival of her memoir is cause for celebration." Dave Eggers, author of "What is the What" and "A Hologram for the King" I love the way Mary Williams tells her story, "The Lost Daughter," of living in and between two worlds upheavals and miracles, deprivations, and opportunities. A world of mothers lost and found again. It is ultimately a story about acceptance and forgiveness and gratitude, told with the deepest compassion, honesty and, ultimately, love. Eve Ensler, author of "The Vagina Monologues" A tender memoir of love and redemption. Born during the civil rights movement to Black Panther Party parents, Williams grew up in a tough neighborhood of Oakland, Calif., [until] actress and activist Jane Fonda stepped in and gave the bright 16-year-old girl a new life. And for 30 years, Williams avoided looking backward to her birth mother and rough beginnings....In heartwarming prose, the author explains how she eventually reunited with her siblings, their children and finally her birth mother. A compassionate tale of soul-searching and family love. "Kirkus" William s attempts to reconcile her two disparate families and lives form the heart of her conversational narrative of a life changed by what looks like chance....A fascinating picture of Jane Fonda in a maternal role emerges but equally intriguing is Williams s description of life as a small child living in the close-knit Black Panther community. Williams will remind readers that tensions ran high in the 1970s and that sometimes the collateral damage was human life. "Library Journal" It is rare that a person has the opportunity to observe life from such disparate vantages as Mary Williams has occupied. It is perhaps more rare still that she would come to possess the self-awareness and desire to explore those observations in a searching and serious memoir. But that is Williams' achievement in "The Lost Daughter," her improbable account of leaving impoverished East Oakland for a life of privilege with the actress and activist Jane Fonda....a fairy tale of a bildungsroman that charts the course of Mary's remarkable opportunity and self-actualization. Thomas Chatterton Williams, "San Francisco Chronicle" [A] remarkable story...Williams offers a nuanced portrait of her two families...Hers is a book of sorrow and redemption, of seeing the gulf between families and the reconciliation that too often fails and sometimes succeeds.... There are fascinating insights into the Fonda clan as well. Linda Diebel, "The Toronto Star" "I've been astonished at how natural, conversational and funny Mary Williams is on the page. Her story is incredible, an only-in-America epic, and I can't wait to see it out in the world."-Dave Eggers, author of "What Is The What""