The title of his memoir was Dreams From My Father, but Barack Obama has never hidden the debt he owes to his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham (the quote in the title of this post is his). In the new book A Singular Woman, biographer Janny Scott tells the story of Dunham's life, from her early years in Kansas to her time in Indonesia and her untimely death at 52 in Hawaii.

"To describe Dunham as a white woman from Kansas is about as illuminating as describing her son as a politician who likes golf. . . . [t]he label obscures an extraordinary story," says Scott in her introduction. She spoke with Dunham's uncle and both of her children, as well as hundreds of other family members, to compile this exhaustive biography.

More books about mothers and motherhood can be found in our Mother's Day feature.

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