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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Mass Market Paperback – April 21, 2009
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In this first of five volumes of autobiography, poet Maya Angelou recounts a youth filled with disappointment, frustration, tragedy, and finally hard-won independence. Sent at a young age to live with her grandmother in Arkansas, Angelou learned a great deal from this exceptional woman and the tightly knit black community there. These very lessons carried her throughout the hardships she endured later in life, including a tragic occurrence while visiting her mother in St. Louis and her formative years spent in California--where an unwanted pregnancy changed her life forever. Marvelously told, with Angelou's "gift for language and observation," this "remarkable autobiography by an equally remarkable black woman from Arkansas captures, indelibly, a world of which most Americans are shamefully ignorant." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
If your originals of these two popular titles (LJ 9/1/78, LJ 3/15/70, respectively) have seen better days, these reprints offer affordable, high-quality replacements.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings:
Smiling Through Sadness
Maya Angelou’s first memoir, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, captures the sweetest, purest, and the most honest inner voice of a black child who grew up to be a heroine. Dr. Angelou does not censor anything; She wants us to know it all. It is so true, straightforward, and uncensored that many white parents have attempted to ban this book from schools. This memorable and mysterious autobiography - originally published in 1969 - was followed by another masterpiece entitled: Gather Together In My Name. Both books are available in audio format recorded by Random House Audio. It is amazing that we can hear Dr. Angelou reading her own books to us just like a grandmother putting us to sleep with her adventurous bed-time stories.
Dr. Maya Angelou, who has been honored and awarded numerous times, is a pure soul writing about the evil world of the racist America keeping a matching voice on each chapter of her life. When she is writing about her experiences as a five-year-old, you hear a five-year-old talking to you. Being one of the most recognized public figures and a civil rights movement’s heroine, Maya Angelou, gives us a poetic journey of how a poor disadvantaged black girl was rejected by everyone including her own mother, raped by her mother’s boyfriend, and had to witness his crippled uncle hiding under a pile of onions and potatoes to be protected from racist white beasts on a regular basis. The good news is that the story of I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings does not end here. This bird sings her heart out until the cage breaks and she becomes our national treasure.
This powerful modern American classis has changed many readers’ (and listeners’) hearts and minds in a way that every great work of literature should. This book became the best-seller immediately after it was published. What added to my personal itch to read this book when I was first introduced to it was the fact that Dr. Angelou has described William Shakespeare as one of her strongest influence on her life and works. Shakespeare is my all-time favorite “pennist.”
Buy it, read it, keep it, reread it, highlight it, talk about it, advertise it, buy more of it and give it out as a gift, learn from it, and apply what you’ve learned from it in your daily life. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings is coming from a heart and soul of someone who had to witness the unnecessary, harsh, and brutal insults that no ordinary human being can bear. Maya Angelou writes the story of a human who was pushed to her limits by the ugliness of this world and while being in a saddest cage, sang the happiest song. Once precious Maya Angelou told her younger generation that seem to be unable to cope with the racism in the past and present:
“You should be angry. You must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure. So use that anger. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking it.”
Upon reading the first lines of the book, readers will be in store with much of the emotional intensity from Marguerite Bailey as well as the moving elements of her narrative that are told with great detail. Her story is told in flashbacks but within a block of memories, and there are several worth noting. But one did leave a lasting impression that involved the a pre-World War II era and the home-front during the war, especially the effects that the war had on particular communities; one of the interesting bits of history that Marguerite observes was when she was in San Francisco and how the internment of Japanese Americans in her neighborhood left a void to the community, shops and businesses and homes that were left vacant. But as time progressed during the war, the void was filled as more African Americans looked for opportunities on the west coast. And as a bright-eyed and precocious child to a blooming and maturing young lady, this event and several others may touch a nerve. Aside from the history, there exists the social dilemmas and issues that tend to be subtly told but clearly understood that related to the adversity that Marguerite experienced and the questions that she either asked her mother and the answers that she received of that is the way things were, or what she questioned of herself. With that sentiment in mind, throughout the book readers see the strength in the words that Angelou wrote, “Without willing it, I had gone from being ignorant of being ignorant to being aware of being aware. And the worst part of my awareness was that I wasn’t aware of what I was aware of…” (288)
Whether one first reads this most thought-provoking book in school as a class assignment or out of curiosity, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is as relevant today as it may have been the day one first read the book. Indeed, it is a story worth discussing because of its timelessness, but most importantly, the somewhat unspeakable issues that she shares with the reader that still exist today as it existed during Maya Angelou’s time.
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One of the few SPECIAL SOULS that come across this planet !!🌎Read more