I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

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I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

by Maya Angelou

Random House Publishing Group | April 21, 2009 | Mass Market Paperbound |

4.1667 out of 5 rating. 6 Reviews
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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, first published in 1969, 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


From the Hardcover edition.

Format: Mass Market Paperbound

Dimensions: 304 Pages, 3.94 × 6.69 × 0.79 in

Published: April 21, 2009

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0345514408

ISBN - 13: 9780345514400

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– More About This Product –

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

by Maya Angelou

Format: Mass Market Paperbound

Dimensions: 304 Pages, 3.94 × 6.69 × 0.79 in

Published: April 21, 2009

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0345514408

ISBN - 13: 9780345514400

About the Book

Superbly told, with the poet's gift for language and observation, Angelou's autobiography of her childhood in Arkansas - a world of which most Americans are ignorant.

"From the Hardcover edition."

Read from the Book

Prologue "What you looking at me for? I didn''t come to stay . . ." I hadn''t so much forgot as I couldn''t bring myself to remember. Other things were more important. "What you looking at me for? I didn''t come to stay . . ." Whether I could remember the rest of the poem or not was immaterial. The truth of the statement was like a wadded-up handkerchief, sopping wet in my fists, and the sooner they accepted it the quicker I could let my hands open and the air would cool my palms. "What you looking at me for . . . ?" The children''s section of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church was wiggling and giggling over my well-known forgetfulness. The dress I wore was lavender taffeta, and each time I breathed it rustled, and now that I was sucking in air to breathe out shame it sounded like crepe paper on the back of hearses. As I''d watched Momma put ruffles on the hem and cute little tucks around the waist, I knew that once I put it on I''d look like a movie star. (It was silk and that made up for the awful color.) I was going to look like one of the sweet little white girls who were everybody''s dream of what was right with the world. Hanging softly over the black Singer sewing machine, it looked like magic, and when people saw me wearing it they were going to run up to me and say, "Marguerite [sometimes it was ''dear Marguerite''], forgive us, please, we didn''t know who you were," and I would answer generously, "No, you couldn''t ha
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From the Publisher

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, first published in 1969, 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


From the Hardcover edition.

From the Jacket

"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

About the Author

Maya Angelou was raised in Stamps, Arkansas. In addition to her bestselling autobiographies, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and The Heart of a Woman, she wrote numerous volumes of poetry, among them Phenomenal Woman, And Still I Rise, On the Pulse of Morning, and Mother. Maya Angelou died in 2014.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

"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


From the Hardcover edition.
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