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A Song Flung Up to Heaven | [Maya Angelou]

A Song Flung Up to Heaven

This is the next installment in a six volume autobiography that began more than thirty years ago with the appearance of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. In A Song Flung Up to Heaven Maya Angelou describes her poignant encounters with Martin Luther King, Jr.; her work with the civil rights movement; and witnessing the Watts riots. Battered by the loss of revered black leaders, it takes writer James Baldwin to finally force her out of isolation with a dinner party that inspired her to write.
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Publisher's Summary

The culmination of a unique achievement in modern American literature: the six volumes of autobiography that began more than thirty years ago with the appearance of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

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

What the Critics Say

  • Grammy Award Winner, Best Spoken Word Album, 2002

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (110 )
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  •  
    Cecil Beaumont, TX, USA 07-26-04
    Cecil Beaumont, TX, USA 07-26-04 Member Since 2002
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    "Being there is part of the strength of this book."

    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.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Lake Linden , MI, USA 03-18-03
    Cynthia Lake Linden , MI, USA 03-18-03
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    "best book I have listened to"

    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.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geneva Columbus, GA, USA 08-21-04
    Geneva Columbus, GA, USA 08-21-04
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    "Fantastic"

    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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue-Ellen United States 02-22-12
    Sue-Ellen United States 02-22-12 Member Since 2012

    rare penny

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    "Song flung up to heaven"
    If you could sum up A Song Flung Up to Heaven in three words, what would they be?

    somber, gentle, heroic


    What other book might you compare A Song Flung Up to Heaven to and why?

    i know why the caged bird sings


    What does Maya Angelou bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    her own word emphases, humor, joyful and sorrowful voice


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beatrice Brattleboro, VT, United States 06-09-14
    Beatrice Brattleboro, VT, United States 06-09-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Classic Angelou"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Song Flung Up to Heaven to be better than the print version?

    Definitely. Nothing like hearing Maya Angelou's voice. She soothes me.


    What other book might you compare A Song Flung Up to Heaven to and why?

    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, because it is a continuation of her life story


    What does Maya Angelou bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her voice, her feeling--other reviewers say her reading is a monotone, but I hear it as Maya Angelou in all her glory.
    Of course, she is the author, so she brings her artistry and unique and personal perspective on American history--she was friends with Malcolm X, James Baldwin, Martin Luther King. Her life was intertwined with many important events of the 60s. Plus I find her portrayal of her relationships with her mother, brother and friends warm and fascinating.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, because I listen to books at bedtime.


    Any additional comments?

    Listen to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth SANTEE, CA, United States 07-06-12
    Elizabeth SANTEE, CA, United States 07-06-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Enjoyed it!"

    I was not disappointed. I find Maya's life story very interesting. She is honest and insightful. She also narrates the story herself which some may find distracting, however I enjoyed hearing Maya read in her own voice. This book is one in a series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yvonne Newfield, NY, United States 06-18-12
    Yvonne Newfield, NY, United States 06-18-12 Member Since 2011
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    "How can you not love her!"

    A piece of Maya's life, oh how I love listening to her! Her beautiful expressions and thoughts, that bring pictures into one's mind. I love Maya Angelou, so am quite partial I am afraid. It's an important part of her life where she takes the opportunity to identify herself in her world. Whoever likes her books,,,yes, listen to it. And having her narrate is absolute bliss!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela Kaukauna, WI, United States 07-19-11
    Angela Kaukauna, WI, United States 07-19-11
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    "A favorite author"

    I love Maya Angelo's work. She's very down to earth and very wise. She has a poetic way with words. Beautiful book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry United States 06-18-10
    Terry United States 06-18-10
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    "Sorry Angelou Lovers"

    Couldn't do it. Love the lady but not her narrating her own book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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