Terry McMillan's newest work, "Getting to Happy", will be featured in upcoming issues of Essence as the magazine celebrates its 40th anniversary
A few pages of excerpts from McMillan's "Getting to Happy," a sequel to her million-selling "Waiting to Exhale," will appear in the next four issues of Essence, starting with the June edition, which came out this week. It's a familiar place for McMillan, whose ties to the magazine date back to the 1970s, when she was in college and won an Essence writing contest.
"They're like family," McMillan, whose book comes out this fall, says of Essence, "and Essence readers have been a large part of my audience."
Essence senior editor Patrik Henry Bass noted the magazine's long support for black women writers, including Alice Walker, Toni Morrison and Gloria Naylor. When Essence started, Morrison's debut novel, "The Bluest Eye," had just been released. Walker was years away from writing "The Color Purple" and Toni Cade Bambara had yet to publish her first book.
"Nobody in the mainstream media was paying attention to these women," Bass says.