Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide.
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 that love for herself, 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 will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read.
“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.”—James Baldwin
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Maya Angelou’s 1969 autobiography is one of the 20th century’s most powerful works of nonfiction: a bracing, honest examination of racism and poverty in the American South. Whether she’s relating the harsh realities of her youth or reveling in the triumph of her own determination, Angelou’s lyrical prose shines with insight and humor. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is as immediate and electric today as it was a half-century ago.
Customer ReviewsSee All
It's a very good and well written medium sized book written by a grand poet who makes the book seem as if the words were coming out of a child's mouth. Maya Angelou definitely had an interesting childhood and it makes for a very entertaining read.
I have always been a fan of Maya Angelou's poems but never knew she wrote other things besides poetry. She opened my eyes to how life was for a young African American girl growing up in the south. Loved this book! Thank you Ms. Angelou for sharing your story.
Overcoming ignorant societal prejudices
This book is well written and very engaging. I like Maya’s chronology of her different life phases. And she captures each phase with authenticity. She’s a great example that society doesn’t define you but rather you define how society should view you. Need I say this book educated me how to treat a woman by the way she perceives herself in which case Maya let’s us into her thoughts. Thank you Maya for sharing your life with us and may you dwell amongst us through your works.