Michelle Obama
Contributed by Eleanor Sherer
Chapter 11

The author starts the chapter by explaining the hurt and grief of losing her beloved father. The loss was so great that for the first time as adult siblings, Michelle and Craig fought over the kind of casket their father should be buried in (Obama 111). Michelle continues to state that the death of her father at the age of fifty-five, and the demise of Suzanne at the age of twenty-six made her realize that “life is short and not to be wasted” (Obama 111). She figured out that it was time to make a move, focusing on pursuing a fulfilling career.  The reader follows Michelle from the time she met Art Sussman who introduced her to Susan Sher and ultimately meeting Valerie Jarrett who ended up altering the course of Michelle’s life (Obama 113).

Michelle then takes the readers through her intimate relationship with Barack. She was in love and ready to commit, not only to marriage but also to becoming a mother. While celebrating at Gordon restaurant, the author states that Barack brought up the marriage discussion, playing a prank on Michelle that although he loved her a lot, he [Barack] did not see the point of getting married. The calm argument ended with Barack surprisingly proposing to Michelle. With Michelle taking a new job at City Hall, Barack making a commitment to the firm Daviz, Miner, Barnhill & Gallad, and being newly engaged, they decided to take a vacation to Kenya (Obama 119).


In this chapter, the author reflects on the hurt and grief she experienced upon losing her father. Michelle states that the demise of both her father and Susanne both at a considerably young age, made her reflect on her life and purpose. She shares her opinion that life is too short for a person to live a dissatisfactory life, a life without any fulfillment or joy. Not only did she want marriage and motherhood, but she also yearned for a career that would bring joy and meaning to her life.

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