I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Book - 1971
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Random House, Inc.
A phenomenal #1 bestseller that has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for nearly three years, this memoir traces Maya Angelou's childhood in a small, rural community during the 1930s. Filled with images and recollections that point to the dignity and courage of black men and women, Angelou paints a sometimes disquieting, but always affecting picture of the people—and the times—that touched her life.
Memoirist, novelist, poet, and dramatist, Maya Angelou is one of the best-loved writers of our time.  She is widely acclaimed for her searing, inspiring writings--and she has been praised for confronting both the racial and sexual pressures on black women, and for infusing her work with a perspective on larger social and political movements, including civil rights. In the volumes of her bestselling personal story--one of the most remarkable narratives ever shared--Maya Angelou writes about the struggles and triumphs of her extraordinary life with candor, humor, poignancy, and grace. These include: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings The classic autobiography of her young years. Gather Together In My Name The coming-of-age story of her struggle for survival as a young unwed mother.   Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas The saga of her show business career, her failed marriage, and her early motherhood. The Heart of a Woman The turbulent story of her emergence as a writer and a political activist. Wouldn't Take Nothing For My Journey Now Her exhilarating collection of wisdom, spirituality, and life lessons.

Baker & Taylor
A black woman recalls the anguish of her childhood in Arkansas and her adolescence in northern slums.

Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 1971, c1969
ISBN: 9780553279375
Branch Call Number: B ANGELOU
Characteristics: 246 p. ; 18 cm


From Library Staff

Banned for: Offensive language, sexually explicit, violence, unsuited for age group

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Jul 03, 2019

Gorgeous story. I throughly enjoy her writing. Certainly Maya Angelou is one of the greatest writers of the 20th century.

Feb 28, 2019

Sad for me as a teen.. a real eye opener to this day i will forever remember reading this as a teen.. she a beautiful writer & has over came so much to become the written words for may people.. 📖

Feb 22, 2019

No copies available at this time (2-22-19).

Dec 17, 2018

A moving account of Maya Angelou's early life.

Mar 12, 2018

This book was my introduction into Maya Angelou's works and i couldn't be happier for the experience. She truly is a master of painting not only the picture, but the emotions of her stories as well.

Mar 06, 2018

I read this for the "A Book That Challenges Your Viewpoint" part of my 2018 reading challenge. It was a fascinating look into how Maya grew up, and I look forward to reading her other work.

Apr 30, 2017

In this autobiography, Maya Angelou tells the story of her past through vivid writing; even when recalling moments from her past, her words read like poetry. Her personal stories of racism, abuse, and poverty are difficult to read, but that is because of how brutally honest they are. It is imperative to know about the past, and this work provides a striking retelling of Angelou’s upbringing. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings provides context for the rest of Angelou’s amazing work, and I absolutely recommend the book to other readers, even those who have not previously read an autobiography. 5/5
-@pastapages of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is the autobiography of Maya Angelou in which she takes you through her journey of growing up black in the South, being abused, and persisting through trials and tribulations. This biography shows the prejudice Maya and those around her had to endure in both a tragic and hopeful point of view. I usually do not enjoy autobiographies but I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is an exception. It is a raw and honest story of how the human soul can survive through every type of struggle and still be optimistic at the end of the day. Maya Angelou inspired so many by sharing her story and is a true hero that should be remembered and honored. 4.8 out of 5.
-@freshprinceofbooks of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Nov 04, 2016

"The needs of a society determine its ethics..."

Maya Angelou tells a beautiful, autobiographical story taking place in Arkansas, St. Louis, California, and Mexico, with colorful and layered characters. This book has an intriguing plot mixed with poetry, mixed with heart breaking scenes, mixed with intellectual reflections on Black culture, feminism, and art. I also love introverted characters who escape into literature. Maya Angelou is a wonderful author.

Sep 16, 2016

Just how I imagined a conversation with Maya would be on a warm Southern afternoon. An extraordinary coming of age adventure I wished I had read years ago.

violet_leopard_133 Sep 13, 2015

will you lazy ass people go to different libraries for this book like seriously I need to renew it

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violet_leopard_133 Aug 18, 2015

violet_leopard_133 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Bbyjun Jul 01, 2013

Bbyjun thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Maroon_Raven_52 Dec 16, 2012

Maroon_Raven_52 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Nov 29, 2012

kaypeart83 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

EuSei Sep 19, 2012

EuSei thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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Laura_X Apr 06, 2015

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

EuSei Sep 24, 2012

[When I was 8 years old] my mother would take me in to sleep with her, in the large bed with Mr. Freeman. ...[he] pulled me to him and put his hand between my legs. ...He threw back the covers and his "thing" stood up like a brown ear of corn. He took my hand and said, "Feel it." … he dragged me on top of his chest with his left arm, and his right hand was moving so fast.... Finally he was quiet, and then came the nice part. This was probably my real father ….

EuSei Sep 10, 2012

The Well of Loneliness was my introduction to lesbianism and was I thought of as pornography. For months the book was both a treat and a threat. It allowed me to see a little of the mysterious world of the pervert. It stimulated my libido.

EuSei Sep 10, 2012

His pants were open and his ‘thing’ was standing out of his britches by itself. ..He grabbed my arm and pulled me between his legs. He said, “Now, this ain’t gonna hurt you much. You liked it before, didn’t you?” …His legs were squeezing my waist. “Pull down your drawers.” ..”If you scream, I’m gonna kill you. And if you tell, I’m gonna kill Bailey.”…Then there was the pain. A breaking and entering when even the senses are torn apart. The act of rape on an eight-year-old body is a matter of the needle giving because the camel can’t. ..I thought I had died.

EuSei Sep 10, 2012

it was his ‘thing’ on my leg. Mr. Freeman pulled me to him, and put his hand between my legs…He threw back the blankets and his ‘thing’ stood up like a brown ear of corn. He took my hand and said, “Feel it.” It was mushy and squirmy like the inside of a freshly killed chicken. Then he dragged me on top of his chest.


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