Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local "powhitetrash." At eight years old and back at her mother's side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age-and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns about love for herself and the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors ("I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare") will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.
Poetic and powerful, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is a modern American classic that will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read.
About the Author
As well as her autobiography Maya Angelou has written several volumes of poetry, including 'On the Pulse of the Morning' for the inauguration of President Clinton. She now has a life-time appointment as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University.
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Comments about I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings:
She has a fabulous way with words. The book puts you in her shoes. We can learn a lot from it. Wish I read it as a teenager. Just an abrupt ending
NY Times Book Review
The wisdom, rue and humor of her storytelling are borne on a lilting rhythm completely her own, the product of a born writer's senses nourished on black church singing and preaching, soft mother talk and salty street talk, and on literature: James Weldon Johnson, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Shakespeare and Gorki.
As in Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now, famed poet and author Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings) casts a keen eye inward and bares her soul in a slim volume of personal essays. This collection is narrower in scope than Angelou's earlier book and the sense of racial pride is stronger, more compelling. But all of her opinions are deeply rooted and most are conveyed with a combination of humility, personable intelligence and wit. Like a modern-day Kahlil Gibran, Angelou offers insights on a wide range of topics-Africa, aging, self-reflection, independence and the importance of understanding both the historical truth of the African American experience and the art that truth inspired. Women are a recurrent topic, and in "A Song to Sensuality," she writes of the misconceptions the young (her younger self included) have of aging. "They Came to Stay" is a particularly inspirational piece paying homage to black women: "Precious jewels all." Even Oprah Winfrey (to whom the previous collection was dedicated) serves as subject matter and is likened to "the desperate traveler who teaches us the most profound lesson and affords us the most exquisite thrills." In her final essay, Angelou uses the story of the prodigal son to remind readers of the value of solitude: "In the silence we listen to ourselves. Then we ask questions of ourselves. We describe ourselves to ourselves, and in the quietude we may even hear the voice of God."
If your originals of these two popular titles (LJ 9/1/78, LJ 3/15/70, respectively) have seen better days, these reprints offer affordable, high-quality replacements.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4A young Ashanti boy invites readers to visit his West African village, famous for fine kente cloth, and to share his "magic"a masterful imagination. Artistic typesetting composition is accompanied by appealing color photos that bring the lyrical text into sharp focus. Kofi is an engaging scamp whose vivid "daydreams" that transport him to other places will speak to children everywhere and present them with a clear vision of his beloved West African world. Kofi's joy in his life is reflected in both text and pictorial content and will be an eye-opener to more materialistic children in technically developed environments. A winner.Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
"This testimony from a black sister marks the beginning of a new era in the minds and hearts 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 in life in the midst of death."--James Baldwin
"Simultaneously touching and comic"--"New York Times"
"It is a heroic and beautiful book."--"Clevland Plain Dealer"
"Maya Angelou is a natural writer with an inordinate sense of life and she has written and exceptional autobiographical narrative... a beautiful book--an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time."--"Kirkus Reviews"
Audience: Teenager / Young Adult
Number Of Pages: 289
Published: 21st April 2009
Dimensions (cm): 17.6 x 11.0 x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.15