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4.9 out of 5 stars
The Collected Autobiographies of Maya Angelou (Modern Library)
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82 of 84 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2005
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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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
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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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2007
Format: HardcoverVerified 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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified 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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified 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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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified 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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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book after reading, "I know why the caged bird sings", I found myself captivated by the spellbounding aura of maya angelou and in a thirst for her story purchased this book. I have drank her words readily and my only regret is that like all great things, the pages shall run out and my feast shall come to an end. This is a wonderful gift for any Maya Angelou fan, it branches outside of her poetry and makes the goddess of words appear a little more human.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I skipped "Caged Bird", so that I don't judge all her other autobiographies in the light of that massive seller. However, the writing is amazing, exposition is vivid and beautiful. I've grown up in California (where Gather Together In My Name is set) have constantly visited some of the places she went to in the book and am awed by these ordinary places the way she describes them! Can't wait to finish the collection and finally open "Caged Bird"! The great writing aside-
The formatting and the binding, the cover, and paper are great! Six amazing books feel deceptively small in your hand and it's frankly hard to believe that it's over a thousand pages; I ordered this and expected some giant Shakespeare-encyclopedia thing to arrive and got this adorable book. Simply, perfect.
P.S. I'm hoping Modern Library will publish a new edition some day with her 7th autobiography included.
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