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Author/motivational speaker Iyanla Van Zant endured a life plagued by sexual and domestic abuse, suicide attempts and nervous breakdowns before a spiritual breakthrough inspired her to take control of her future. Leaving her abusive husband, she enrolled at Medgar Evers College, graduating at the top of her class and later studying law at the City University of New York. Following three years as a public defender in Philadelphia, Van Zant became an ordained minister, and in 1992 published her first book, Tapping the Power Within: A Path to Self-Empowerment for Black Women. A series of best-sellers followed, among them 1995's The Value in the Valley: A Black Woman's Guide Through Life's Dilemmas, 1997's The Spirit of a Man: A Vision of Transformation for Black Men and the Women Who Love Them and 1998's One Day My Soul Just Opened Up: 40 Days and 40 Nights Towards Spiritual Strength and Personal Growth. In 1999, Van Zant issued In the Meantime: The Music That Tells the Story, an album featuring music from Faith Evans, Montell Jordan, Monifah and others. She continues to release inspirational audio CDs, guided meditations, and spoken word musings on cultivating faith and hope. Her most recent project, part of the Sounds True Inner Visions Series is 2005's Finding Faith in Difficult Times~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi