Former Apple Exec’s New Memoir Tells Difficult Story of Life, Loss, and Grief

This Black woman has worked in the C suite as a top executive, but that was the last thing on her mind when she went to write her story.

Corporate leader Bozoma Saint John tells a difficult story of survival in her upcoming memoir, The Urgent Life, which covers her personal experiences with love and loss.

According to Town & Country, Saint John’s book details challenging moments such as the suicide of her college boyfriend, the death of a child born prematurely, and her late husband’s cancer battle.

“I was very transparent on social media during my husband’s illness and death,” Saint John said. “After that, it felt as though I’d already said the things I needed to say, but I still wanted to piece together how that moment in my life changed everything. The book I ended up writing was more about how losses throughout my life have shaped who I am today.”


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The former Netflix executive looked to authors such as Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, and Nikki Giovanni as inspiration to tell her own story.

“It’s intimidating to love authors like that and think that I can pick up a pen and do the same,” she explained. “But for me, it wasn’t about doing the same. The authors I like write about death and talk about people in a way that doesn’t make them seem like heroes. There’s complexity, and that’s what I love.”

Saint John also talked about life in her memoir, at one point, citing the words of Diane Ackerman that opened her eyes to not only living out the “length” of life, but also the “width” of it.

“It’s haunting, but also inspiring because she articulated something I had been trying to articulate for myself. Are the years what makes the life, or is it the things that you do in those years? I believe it’s the latter,” Saint John said.

The Urgent Life author knows some readers will be surprised to find the book is not about “how to be a badass” in the corporate world, but rather the transparency of how life happened for her.

“I don’t think it would be possible for me to write a book about my corporate endeavors without talking about what has really happened to me,” she said.


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