A Song Flung Up to Heaven opens as Maya Angelou returns from Africa to the United States to work with Malcolm X. But first she has to journey to California to be reunited with her mother and brother. No sooner does she arrive there than she learns that Malcolm X has been assassinated.
Devastated, she tries to put her life back together, working on the stage in local theaters and even conducting a door-to-door survey in Watts. Then Watts explodes in violence, a riot she describes firsthand.
Subsequently, on a trip to New York, she meets Martin Luther King, Jr., who asks her to become his coordinator in the North, and she visits black churches all over America to help support King's Poor People's March.
But once again tragedy strikes. King is assassinated, and this time Angelou completely withdraws from the world, unable to deal with this horrible event. Finally, James Baldwin forces her out of isolation and insists that she accompany him to a dinner party - where the idea for writing I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is born. In fact, A Song Flung Up to Heaven ends as Maya Angelou begins to write the first sentences of Caged Bird.
©2002 Maya Angelou; (P)2002 Random House Inc., Random House Voices, an Imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group
This wonderful woman knew and helped and was helped by three of the now dead heroes of my youth--James Baldwin, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. And she was in Watts interviewing housewives for a marketing company when the citizens started burning and looting the stores. In short, she was intimately involved in many major events of our recent past; she knew both the leaders and the followers and has the skill as a writer to tell us how she and they reacted to those events. In addition, she has a great voice (she also sang professionally), which she uses to fine effect as the reader of her own book. Paraphrasing Holden Caulfield, I just wish I could call her up and ask her what's been happening lately. Buy this audio book; listen to her; you'll feel like you've been blessed for having done so.
This was excellent. It is amazing the various things Angelou has done. Having her read it was so neat. She is interesting whether she is talking about family interactions, setting up for job and living in a new city, or very dramatic historic events such as Watts explosions.
Truly enjoyed hearing this title. Her voice inflections and tone added to the book's value for me. I appreciated hearing her honest depiction of life events. Maya Angelou's writing style allowed me to feel moments of joy and of pain.
somber, gentle, heroic
i know why the caged bird sings
her own word emphases, humor, joyful and sorrowful voice
It is so marvellous to hear Ms. Angelina tell her own story. I read her autobiography previously. I saw her receiver the Presidential medal of honor on line. I fully understand why she is poetlauriet.
What a life!
The description of historical events that she participated in before she was well known.
The voices that she gives to her family members and to other people that she knew.
Her description of her reaction to Martin Luther King's assassination. She still seemed shaken by it.
I love reading Maya Angelou's books and always will. The audiobooks are a treat because they are in her voice, but I get more out of her books by reading and rereading them.
Reminiscences of her responses to the deaths of two great men and how they affected her life. Great story and a look back at a turbulent time in American history.
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