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You Have No Idea

A Famous Daughter, Her No-nonsense Mother, and How They Survived Pageants, Holly wood, Love, Loss (and Each Other)

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


The highly anticipated first book by a widely respected entertainer whose career highlights include The Right Stuff, Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives, and former Miss America
When Vanessa Williams was growing up, she had a plan: She’d go to college and major in musical theater; afterward she’d get her MFA from the Yale School of Drama, and then she would embark on a successful career on Broadway. And to make sure she stayed on that path, her mother, Helen Williams, gave her a list of things that she should never— ever—do.  Near the top of that list was “never ever pose nude for anyone.”  So when Vanessa became the first African-American woman to win the title of Miss America in September 1983 (an accomplishment that she never planned for or desired), only to be forced to resign ten months later due to a nude photo scandal, the lives of both Vanessa and Helen took an unexpected turn.  But Vanessa survived this setback, and many others to come, to enjoy a thirty-plus-year career as an award-winning singer and actress. Vanessa has been asked to write her memoir many times, but only now—with the help of her mother—is she ready to tell her story.

 Vanessa grew up in Millwood, New York, part of one of the town’s only black families. As a teenager, Vanessa defied Helen, flirting with boys, drinking, and smoking pot.  But despite their early conflicts, Helen has always ardently protected her daughter, staying in contact with the FBI about the multiple death threats Vanessa received after being crowned and being there for her during the dissolution of her two marriages.

Now the mother of four children, Vanessa describes how she’s made it through the ups and downs of her life as well as her career.  Jointly written by Vanessa and Helen and filled with dozens of personal family photos and mementos, You Have No Idea is an empowering celebration of the love between a mother and daughter and the life of a woman who beat the odds to achieve her destiny.

Customer Reviews

I love this book!!! Thank You!!!

My daughter can't put it down. She's 14 and one of your biggest fans---and so am I. Thank you for this book!!! My daughter finished your book last night----and she hates reading!!! We love you!!! THANKS AGAIN!!!

You Have No Idea Just How Great This Book Is!

I'm a casual Vanessa fan having seen her on Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives, so I thought I would check out the book when I saw it in the iTunes store. It did not disappoint! After reading the sample, I bought the full book. You Have No Idea is a great read and with Vanessa and her mom Helen both giving their accounts of events. It's very entertaining to hear the second perspective. The stories are very touching and honest. You Have No Idea Just How is definitely worth picking up.

Vanessa at her BEST!!!

Page after laugh, cry and all the while can't stop reading!!! I had no intentions of enjoying this book I was just being curious. I'm so happy I was curious, because this is a book worth reading!!!

You Have No Idea
View in iTunes
  • $4.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Apr 17, 2012
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

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