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The Heart of a Woman Paperback – April 21, 2009
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“Maya Angelou has . . . achieved a kind of literary breakthrough which few writers of any time, place, or race achieve. . . . What makes [her] writing unique is . . . a melding of unconcerned honesty, consummate craft, and perfect descriptive pitch, yielding a rare compound of great emotional force and authenticity.”
–The Washington Post Book World
“To say that Angelou is a living legend is in no way an exaggeration. [She is] one of the great voices of contemporary literature.”
“Angelou is one of the geniuses of the Afro-American serial autobiography.”
–The New York Times
“A uniquely gifted wordsmith and storyteller.”
–The San Diego Union-Tribune
Top Customer Reviews
I have read several of her works, all of which were cherished. However, after reading "Heart" I felt a deeper awareness. I am a middle class, white woman. I will NEVER understand the hate, fear, and anger experienced by anyone of color- no matter how much I learn, no matter how much I empathize. What I will share with all races is that emotions are emotions, no matter the color. Raising a child, falling in love and then realizing, "Oops, wrong one"...parental love, fear, anger...all make us human. I feel closer to this world for having forced myself to think about past misery and hatred. I wish my children the grace and dignity displayed by a remarkable woman. Thank You for reaching my soul.
Reading Angelou made me aware of what it is was to be a woman and a mother in America. I've read about fictional characters that had comparable difficulties and faced them with astonishing courage and endurance, but reading Maya made it more real for me. Doing that while one has so many commitments at the same time certainly compels admiration.
Words are inadequate to express how I felt to enter the heart of a woman that has so many experiences to share and read a book that is so simply and yet masterfully written.
In this review, I didn't want to be academic and all (commenting on the themes, the syntax, the structure, etc.). I just wanted to communicated what Maya's heart has put in my heart. Go for it, it's humanizing and worth-reading.
HEART continues in exactly the same vein as the earlier books: The reader sees an Angelou who, despite many unfortunate life experiences, has yet to develop discernment insofar as male companions are concerned. Consequently, she continues as the naive pawn of males who betray her childlike faith and trust in them. After seeing this theme replayed so often in the books thus far, the reader begins to wonder whether Angelou sees herself through some sort of "victim mentality," a self-destructive image resulting from an abused childhood. Was she really taken advantage of so often and so consistently in her life? Would a biography written by a thoroughly objective outside observer show us the same Angelou that she herself depicts? Or is the picture that we see in her books one that was painted with the brush of self doubt and inferiority fashioned from the instability of her formative years? The reader should bear in mind that what we are reading may be more of a psychological self-analysis than demonstrable history. That does not make the book any less revealing of its author; it merely means that the reader should be aware of the type of revelation he is viewing.
Angelou's racist attitudes persist more or less unabated in HEART.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very engrossing story. I loved it that it was all true. I remembered how stupid I felt when at the age of ten when I didn't know the Facts of Life! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jera Igo
Maya Angelou's poetic wisdom about raising her son and navigating marriage were insightful and fascinating. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Alyssa
The heart of every woman is in the pages of this book. It is wonderful. The courage displayed will touch me for ever.Published 5 months ago by Veda McLean
Did not enjoy, maybe because it wasn't first book she wrote and I joined in the middle of her story!!!!Published 6 months ago by Dar