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The Collected Autobiographies of Maya Angelou (Modern Library) Hardcover – September 21, 2004

4.9 out of 5 stars 191 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“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.”—The New York Times

“It is a heroic and beautiful book.”—The 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

From the Inside Flap

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.
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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Library
  • Hardcover: 1184 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library; Modern Library Ed edition (September 21, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679643257
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679643258
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (191 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #199,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Maya Angelou has been waitress, singer, actress, dancer, activist, filmmaker, writer and mother. As well as her autobiography she 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 in North Carolina.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is the collection I've been waiting years for....

Simply put, this is the collection of a life time. The collected autobiographies of Maya Angelou is a must have for the diehard fan. I've always said that the only thing I truly envy about Oprah Winfrey is her beautiful relationship with this wise, brilliant woman. Dr. Angelou's life is an amazing story that has unfolded over decades through her series of six autobiographical books. From the very first book, "I know why the caged bird sings", which focused on the silenced young Maya growing up part-time in Arkansas with her grandmother, through the tales of the young independent woman who struck out to pursue her own destiny in the U.S. and abroad, all the way to the celebrated writer of today, this collection takes us along for the amazing journey that is Dr. Angelou's life.

Having read each of her autobiographical books over the past 20 years, I truly looked forward to the opportunity to relive these fascinating accounts again through this volume. As we traverse the terrain of her life, which contains many fascinating details including her international singing career, her struggle as a single mother, her sojourn to Africa and her involvement in the civil right's movement, we are reminded of the depth of experiences and wealth of knowledge that she possesses. I stood firmly once again in wonder of this phenomenal woman. To see a woman emerge from such a journey with the beautiful confidence and poise that Dr. Angelou possesses is nothing short of amazing and completely uplifting.

This collection is a dream come true for me and now one of my prized possessions. I was truly reminded that when it comes to writing and living life fully, for me no one does it better.
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Format: Hardcover
I am not African American, not African, not American, and this book was such an eye opener. It is so rich in humanity, it is a pleasure to read. Each one of the 6 books is written with a distinctive voice as a person is maturing. Maya has a way of writing that is refreshing, intimate and profound.

Through her eyes we become aware of the distinctive culture and values that her characters share or challenge. We see the need that every person has to live life fully and the questions we all need to answer about who we are and what are we here for.

I particularly liked the "All God's chhildren need traveling shoes" best. this book is a must for people who seek to accept that we can be different, yet valued.

It is a distinctive book because it is written in a way that lifts the spirits and intrigues the intelect. .... "to the determination to be no victim of any kind".
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Format: Hardcover
Other than Maya's poems, I have never read her autobiographies. WOW barely describes what I read and felt. I always thought of Maya to be just what she is....a poet, an author. To read how her early life was, I see how her life's experiences brought her to where she is today. Not only does she speak honestly, her style of writing makes one feel they are her in the books. The size of the book may seem intimidating, but I could not put it down. I had to schedule myself to study for my class and read this book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I happened to hear her speak at a lecture series. She spoke for an hour and I was interested to read more about her life. I am only on page 280 but this woman is amazing and her writing style is so crisp and clear, it is as captivating as she was as a speaker. I enthusiatically recommend this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a woman, having grown up in the south and being raised by my Grandmother I TOTALLY relate to Maya's story of her early childhood, however anyone who reads this will be touched and amazed at the things Ms. Angelou went through and how she made it to where she is today. This collection takes you through REAL struggles and amazing triumphs of one our true modern day icons. I can not say enough about this collection in a review, but it changed my life. READ IT!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I couldn't put it down. Ms. Angelou's fresh, direct prose was irresistible, even if I had wanted respite. Her life is fascinating and she tells her story with courage and humor. I am grateful she has committed her life to these books and given us this gift.
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By D. Skeen on September 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Maya writes with such a commanding style that it is an absolute pleasure reading her words. My advice is very simple - if you are at all interested in anything to do with Maya Angelou then don't muck about, order your copy of this volume today!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The high rating is not only for the great bargain of all Maya Angelou's autobiographies but also for her wonderful writing style. I read the first two pages, and I was totally engrossed in the first book, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings!" I bought it for my mom, and I was sad to give it up when her birthday came around! lol
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