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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya…

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (original 1969; edition 1983)

by Maya Angelou

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,899143338 (3.96)1 / 386
Title:I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Authors:Maya Angelou
Info:Bantam (1983), Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:20th Century, abuse, adult, african-american literature, american literature, Arkansas, Autobiography, banned, child abuse, coming of age, feminism, Maya Angelou, memoir, non-fiction, poetry, racism, rape, southern, women writers, read, borrowed from the library

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (1969)


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English (141)  Dutch (2)  All (143)
Showing 1-5 of 141 (next | show all)
I read this book after seeing Maya Angelou speak. She was an amazing woman of about 80 at the time, funny, charming and well spoken. Her story in "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" made me re-think some of my ideas about race and my life. An easy read, and definitely worth it. ( )
  ouroborosangel | Nov 30, 2016 |
One of the first books I read from Maya Angelou. Its as if she is talking specifically to you. I recommend this for anyone who wants to get to know Maya's style of writing. ( )
  KishaNJohnson | Oct 7, 2016 |
4 stars ( )
  JennysBookBag.com | Sep 28, 2016 |
Set in St. Louis, Missouri in the 1940s, the book recollects why a young Maya Angelou stopped speaking for years of her childhood. It is heart-breaking, but reassuring throughout to know that Maya did find her voice again. And what a voice it is! I read the book, but I want to listen to it next time. ( )
  FoxTribeMama | Sep 25, 2016 |
This auto-biography is told in the first person. It covers Maya Angelou's life up to the age of 16 years. She was born in 1928 and spent much of her young life in Stamps Arkansas. She begins when she and her just older brother, Bailey Jr were sent to live with their grandmother after their parents divorced. Her grandmother runs the local store. Maya Angelou tells about racism but also about people who supported her, recognised her gifts and encouraged these and of the love of her grandmother and uncle and she learns how to act with discipline and dignity. This is a wonderfully told account of a young woman’s coming of age, with political changes in the background. Maya Angelou appears to write honestly about her experiences and her prose is poetic but also clear. There are some sections that are difficult to read and she tells these in a straight forward way. There are also sections of humour and her time in Mexico with her father was interesting. What comes through is that Maya Angelou was loved and she was bright and enjoyed learning. ( )
  Tifi | Sep 15, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 141 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Maya Angelouprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rutten, KathleenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is dedicated to my son
Guy Johnson,
and all the strong black birds of promise who defy the odds and gods and sing their songs
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What you looking at me for?
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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James Baldwin Writes:

This testimony from a Black sister marks the beginning of a new era in the minds and hearts and lives of all Black men and women...
I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS liberates the reader into life simply because Maya Angelou confronts her own life with such a moving wonder, such a luminous dignity. I have no words for this achievement, but I know that not since the days of my childhood, when the people in books were more real than the people one saw every day, have I found myself so moved ...
her portrait is a Biblical study of life in the midst of death."

The Moving and Beautiful autobiography of a talented black woman. She continues her story in gather together in GATHER TOGETHER IN MY NAME, SINGIN' AND SWINGIN' AND GETTIN' MERRY LIKE CHRISTMAS and THE HEART OF A WOMAN.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553279378, Mass Market Paperback)

In this first of five volumes of autobiography, poet Maya Angelou recounts a youth filled with disappointment, frustration, tragedy, and finally hard-won independence. Sent at a young age to live with her grandmother in Arkansas, Angelou learned a great deal from this exceptional woman and the tightly knit black community there. These very lessons carried her throughout the hardships she endured later in life, including a tragic occurrence while visiting her mother in St. Louis and her formative years spent in California--where an unwanted pregnancy changed her life forever. Marvelously told, with Angelou's "gift for language and observation," this "remarkable autobiography by an equally remarkable black woman from Arkansas captures, indelibly, a world of which most Americans are shamefully ignorant."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:44 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Presents the story of a spirited and gifted, but poor, black girl growing up in the South in the 1930's. Tells how she came into her own, experiencing prejudice, family difficulties, and a relationship with a teacher who taught her to respect books, learning, and herself. The moving and beautiful autobiography of a talented black woman. "I have no words for this achievement, but I know that not since the days of my childhood have I found myself so moved. Her portrait is a Biblical study of life in the midst of death".-James Baldwin.… (more)

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