‘Just As I Am’, Cicely Tyson To Do Memphis ‘Virtual’ Book Talk

Iconic actress Cicely Tyson will participate in a talk with Whoopi Goldberg and in a live question-and-answer session in a January 28, 2021, “virtual” event co-hosted by Novel, the Memphis bookstore.

The event is a promotion for Tyson’s new autobiography from HarperCollins, “Just As I Am,” in which the 96-year-old Harlem-born actress and activist presents what she calls, in a press release, “my truth.”

“It is me, plain and unvarnished, with the glitter and garland set aside,” says Tyson, in the release. “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.”

The event will be at 5 p.m. Jan. 28. The pre-recorded talk with Goldberg will be followed by a live Q&A with Tyson that will be open to all ticket-holders, in Memphis and elsewhere.

Tickets are $32 each, which basically covers the cost of the book. Ticket-holders will be sent an email link the day before the event.

Kat Leache of Novel said the bookstore at 387 Perkins Ext. in East Memphis is one of a limited number of independent bookstores that were invited by HarperCollins to participate in the Tyson event.

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“The more people in Memphis we can get to buy tickets, the more it benefits the store,” she said.

She said “multi-store” virtual events showcasing celebrated authors are a trend in publishing that will outlast the pandemic. “This is a way for the industry to share these really, really big names with the audience,” she said. “Cicely Tyson is in her 90s, she probably would not have done a book tour in person.”

Tyson is an Emmy- and Tony Award-winning actress, and she has been nominated for an Academy Award. In 2016 she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama.

To order a ticket, visit novelmemphis.com.

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