Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash”. At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age - and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime.
Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns about love for herself and the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.
Poetic and powerful, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is a modern American classic that will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read - or listen.
©1969 Maya Angelou (P)2010 Random House
"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings liberates the reader into life simply because Maya Angelou confronts her own life with such a moving wonder, such a luminous dignity.” (James Baldwin)
“A beautiful book - an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.... Maya Angelou is a natural writer with an inordinate sense of life and she has written an exceptional autobiographical narrative.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Simultaneously touching and comic.” (The New York Times)
I love Maya Angelou!
Her voice and her story are incredible. Listening to her tell it is like having my own private sessions with this incredible woman.
The Book Snob for Paris Life Magazine.
Ok, I know, this is the pivotal Maya Angelou, but I honestly love Mom and Me and Mom so much more.
I loved the glimpses allowed into the mind of Maya, the way she thought, the way she saw the world.
Several moments in this book were life-changing for Maya, but hearing her tell them was life-changing for me.
It's difficult to hear of the hardships and struggles of a young girl, but it is also good to see the strength and resilience of the human spirit.
I haven't read Maya Angelou since college. At the time, I enjoyed her poetry but I didn't fully appreciate her full talent and legacy until reading this memoir, more than 20 years later. Angelou imbues each moment with a tender exactness and a poet's mastery of language. As she gallops from early childhood to young adulthood, ending with an astonishing plot twist and new beginning, she held me captive to her every move. What a gift to the world that Maya Angelou read her own work. Her voice, which occasionally breaks into song, brings these stories alive. At times horrifying; at times laugh out loud funny, "I know Why the Cage Bird Sings" carries forward her immense legacy, which shines so bright.
I found it very interesting. However, I would give it a six on a scale of 1-10.
Lately, I have read "Unbroken" and "The Boys in the Boat." I could compare this book to Zamperini or Ranjic in the aforementioned books. Maya Angelou had a tough start and so did both of these individuals.
The narration was poor. I felt Maya Angelou swallowed her words and it was difficult to hear what she was saying
When she drove the car in Mexico. A scared girl and what amounts to an abusive parent.
The other part was when she became pregnant with her son. She struck me as a very confused, abused youngster.
It was hard to get through as the author was a TERRIBLE reader. She ruined her story with her dreadful performance.
Not with her reading it.
Great example of stick to what you're good at.
I have only heard the audio edition, but I can't imagine reading it myself. It was so great to hear Maya Angelou read it in her own words, it was like being there with her again.
Everything. The candor about her youth and the struggles of her family. I learned so much about that point in history that is never talked about, it was so enlightening. There was so much to this book, every emotion is experienced.
All of it.
I wish all of her books were on audio.
Raw honest writing.
Just hearing the voice of the person who had the experiences in the book adds so much.
Addicted to Audible!
Definitely having the author narrate the book.
The Color Purple
I have listened to her poetry. Never an entire book. It was great! She became every character.
I understood it better with the author reading it. Through her voice I was more aware of how she experienced various situations.
The voice of Ms. Angelou.
Of course, the most memorable moment has to be her being molested. It is the moment that the book builds up to and that everything falls down from.
Ritee had such a wonderful relationship with her brother. He was her only real "connective tissue," so to speak. He was the one thing that was always there, whether she was going to live with her grandmother with a note attached to her as a very small girl or being sent back and forth between her parents and grandmother as a growing child, he was the one thing she could always count on. I think he was my favorite because he was a constant.
I re-read this book, this time right after Ms. Angelou died. I think my reaction this time was much less extreme as it was when I read it when I was much younger. I was remembering the times - her childhood and how she was such a strong person, living through so much, and how she got to be that way. This time reading the book, didn't make me laugh as much as smile when she did the things she did. Her determination, for instance, at becoming a money taker on the trolley cars.
I will miss Maya Angelou's voice so much. She had such a great talent and this book was one I turned to when she died to say goodbye.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.