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Standing tall: A Memoir of Tragedy and Triumph Audiobook, by C. Vivian Stringer Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: C. Vivian Stringer, Laura Tucker Narrator: Adenrele Ojo Publisher: Random House Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2008 ISBN: 9781415949931
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“Work hard, and don’t look for excuses,” C. Vivian Stringer’s parents told her, “and you can achieve anything.” But her faith and perseverance would be tested many times. A gifted athlete, she had to fight for a place on an all-white cheerleading squad in the sixties. In 1981, just as her coaching career was taking off, her fourteen-month-old daughter, Nina, was stricken with spinal meningitis. Nina would never walk or talk again. Still grieving, Stringer brought a small, poor, historically black college to the national championships–a triumph hailed as “Hoosiers with an all-female cast.” In 1991, her husband, Bill, fell dead of a sudden heart attack, but that same year, she led yet another young team to the Final Four. Through these dark times and others, Stringer has carried her burdens with grace. Given her history, it was no surprise that she led her team to respond to Don Imus’s slurs with dignity and courage. STANDING TALL is a story of quiet strength in the face of punishing odds. Above all, it is an extraordinary love story–love for the game, for the players she has coached, for her close-knit family, and for the husband she lost far too soon. It will resonate long after the last word. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “[Speaks] eloquently about finding and losing a great love, about proud parenthood and passionate competition…A wonderful book.”

    Maya Angelou

  • “Coach Vivian Stringer is a pillar of strength who always stands tall. I’m inspired by her, both on and off the court, and you will be too.”

    Bill Clinton

  • “What a story! In a way that touches me very personally, I see in Coach Stringer a mother’s love–and I know that love is the kind of leadership that can change the world.” 

    Michael Jordan

  • “Thank goodness we have someone like Vivian Stringer, someone with the clarity and courage to stand up for what is right. With Standing Tall, she has answered the call again; when we most need a story to inspire us, she has given us this extraordinary book.”

    “Magic” Earvin Johnson

  • “Love, honesty, respect, integrity: If you use these ingredients to build strong character—there you have C. Vivian Stringer’s story, and so beautifully written.”

    Bill Cosby

  • “A moving memoir about overcoming adversity with grace and stamina.”


  • “This is an emotional roller coaster of a memoir, but it is told with humor, passion, and gratitude. An inspiring life story.”


  • “This is the quintessential American story, of a woman and of a family pulling together against the odds. Standing Tall offers an important message of hope to so many.”

    John Chaney, former college basketball coach

  • “C. Vivian Stringer is a woman of amazing principle and strength. I have always admired her genuineness and her unfailing optimism, and now readers can too. Standing Tall is a fascinating look into the life of this extraordinary woman.”

    Pat Summitt, former women’s college basketball coach

  • “Vivian Stringer has a great mind and heart and she isn’t afraid to show it. She is a true champion and hero, in basketball and in life.

    Billie Jean King, former professional tennis player

  • Standing Tall gives us an uncommon glimpse of the woman behind the coach.”  

    Tony Dungy, former professional NFL player and coach

  • “I am certain that readers will not simply be moved by [C. Vivian Stringer’s] story, but that their lives will be touched and changed for the better for reading it.” 

    Andrew Young, former congressman from Georgia

  • A New York Times bestseller

Listener Reviews

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  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tina | 2/20/2011

    " Talk about someone who's been through adversity. An inspiring story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 2/1/2011

    " Rutgers Women's Basketball Coach Memoir

About the Author

C. Vivian Stringer is the head coach of the Rutgers University women’s basketball team. A member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, she has been named National Coach of the Year three times by her peers. She was also the assistant coach for the gold medal–winning 2004 US Olympic team. She currently lives in New Jersey.

About the Narrator

Adenrele Ojo is an actress, dancer, and audiobook narrator, winner of over a dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2018. She made her on-screen debut in My Little Girl, starring Jennifer Lopez, and has since starred in several other films. She has also performed extensively with the Philadelphia Dance Company. As the daughter of John E. Allen, Jr., founder and artistic director of Freedom Theatre, the oldest African American theater in Pennsylvania, is no stranger to the stage. In 2010 she performed in the Fountain Theatre’s production of The Ballad of Emmett Till, which won the 2010 LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for Best Ensemble. Other plays include August Wilson’s Jitney and Freedom Theatre’s own Black Nativity, where she played Mary.