Mere hours after Cicely Tyson’s death, the multi-award winning actress’ just-published memoir is the bestselling book in America.
Released on January 26, Just As I Am has hit No. 1 on Amazon. However, it looks like you won’t be able to get your hands on the book anytime soon.
Published by HarperCollins, the 432-page book has proven such an obvious draw since Tyson’s death at the age of 96 on January 28 that it is “temporarily out of stock,” according to Amazon. No indication when Just As I Am will be back in stock on the Everything Store.
However, before you despair, an audio version of the memoir is still available from Amazon and others. To make that an even more alluring prospect, Tyson herself narrates in part on the audiobook, along with her How To Get Away with Murder co-star Viola Davis and Robin Miles.
“Just As I Am is my truth,” Tyson said of the memoir written with Michelle Burford. The Honorary Oscar winner, Oscar nominee, multiple Emmy winner and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, among other honors, was vigorously promoting in the days before she passed away Thursday.
“It is me, plain and unvarnished, with the glitter and garland set aside,” the Sounder star added. In these pages, I am indeed Cicely, the actress who has been blessed to grace the stage and screen for six decades. Yet I am also the church girl who once rarely spoke a word. I am the teenager who sought solace in the verses of the old hymn for which this book is named. I am a daughter and mother, a sister, and a friend. I am an observer of human nature and the dreamer of audacious dreams. I am a woman who has hurt as immeasurably as I have loved, a child of God divinely guided by His hand. And here in my ninth decade, I am a woman who, at long last, has something meaningful to say.”
And the book delivered, on various levels, it appears
“Just as I Am is a 400-page chronicle of a history as American as apple pie, as Black as the dead of night, as rich, surely, as Tyson’s favorite meals, oxtails and okra, cooked up by her late ex-husband Miles Davis,” wrote Tre’vell Anderson in a review in the Washington Post on January 27.
The rise of Tyson’s book over the last 24 hours actually dethroned inaugural poet Amanda Gorman, who has held the top spot since blowing the nation’s collective and individual wigs off with her “The Hill We Climb” recitation last week.
With Gorman’s latest collection originally set to be released in September, Viking Press jumped to rush out a 32-page version of the poem delivered at Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ swearing in. With a forward by fan Oprah Winfrey, the poem the former National Youth Poet Laureate of the United States is set to come out March 16.
In what was to be one of her last messages on social media, Tyson praised Gorman and her work.
“@TheAmandaGorman, your words remind us that we will rise, rebuild, reconcile and recover. Thank you for your words and light.” CT
— Cicely Tyson (@IAmCicelyTyson) January 27, 2021