Literary Techniques

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

In How Stella Got Her Groove Back, McMillan sets herself the task of sustaining reader interest in a woman who already has it all, and...

(The entire section is 303 words.)

Ideas for Group Discussions

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Readers might discuss what the effects might be of McMillan's incorporation into her narrative of frequent expletives, slang expressions, and...

(The entire section is 305 words.)

Social Concerns

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

How Stella Got Her Groove Back explores the question of how to get back one's stride or "groove" when the solution conflicts with...

(The entire section is 846 words.)


(Literary Essentials: African American Literature)

Frederick, Rhonda D. “What If You’re an ’Incredibly Unattractive, Fat, Pastrylike-Fleshed Man’?: Teaching Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place.” College Literature 30 (Summer, 2003): 1-18. Presents a strategy for teaching literary interpretation tested on How Stella Got Her Groove Back.

Korda, Michael. “Black Authors Rarely Have Made the Best-Seller List.” The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education 34 (Winter, 2001): 128-130. Examines why most African American authors never make the best-seller list but Bill Cosby and Terry McMillan have.

Patrick, Diane. Terry McMillan: The Unauthorized Biography. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999.

Richards, Paulette. Terry McMillan: A Critical Companion. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1999. Examines McMillan’s life and novels, placing How Stella Got Her Groove Back in the context of African American storytelling, archetypal and universal concerns, and social criticism within a romance frame.

“Terry McMillan.” The Writer 114 (August, 2001): 66. McMillan explains why, when, where, and how she writes, what kind of ideas inspire her, and how she handles writer’s block.

Literary Precedents

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

How Stella Got Her Groove Back belongs in a broad sense to a long literary tradition of depicting African-American gender relations....

(The entire section is 259 words.)

Related Titles

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

McMillan typically writes about relationships. Her second novel Disappearing Acts (1989) depicts a mercurial romance between a...

(The entire section is 192 words.)


(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Based upon the popularity McMillan achieved with Waiting to Exhale, film rights to How Stella Got Her Groove Back were acquired...

(The entire section is 255 words.)