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Publisher's Summary

Maya Angelou's six volumes of autobiography are a testament to the talents and resilience of this extraordinary writer. Loving the world, she also knows its cruelty. As a Black woman she has known discrimination and extreme poverty, but also hope, joy, achievement and celebration.

In this first volume of her six books of autobiography, Maya Angelou beautifully evokes her childhood with her grandmother in the American south of the 1930s. She learns the power of the white folks at the other end of town and suffers the terrible trauma of rape by her mother's lover.

'I write about being a Black American woman, however, I am always talking about what it's like to be a human being. This is how we are, what makes us laugh, and this is how we fall and how we somehow, amazingly, stand up again' Maya Angelou

©1969 Maya Angelou (renewed 1997) (P)2011 Random House Inc

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Tessa Hancock
  • 03-12-15

Such perfect diction and attention to detail

Having read Maya's books myself thirty years ago, it was one of the first audiobooks I bought to listen to on my iPad ,now in my seventies, and I have been delighted to listen to Maya's perfect diction and wonderful attention to the details of The English language , a rare treat these days of sloppy Americanisms and ubiquitous estuarine accent. Her accent and diction immediately add local colour to her story of hardship growing up as a negro child in the Deep South of early twentieth century America in the time of segregation and the Great Depression.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • S Kendall-Morris
  • 09-13-16

My favourite book

I've loved this (the first book in maya angelous autobiography) since childhood. So, I purchased this from audible to listen and experience the story over again. It is narrated by Maya Angelou and very enjoyable. The story is deep and rich. A must read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kat
  • 01-19-16

Great Book Read by A Great Woman

Can't believe it's taken me this many years to read this book. What an interesting story that only goes up to her teens. Can't wait to read the books that follow.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Tea Jenny
  • 06-07-15

Absolutely amazing

This was a fantastic listen , read by the author . Full of wisdom and beautiful writing . I shall listen to it again for sure .
Some wonderful quotes to meditate upon . The book really picks up pace in the second half .
Inspiring . Absolutely amazing .

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Smith
  • 09-08-17

Honest

I read this book some 30 years ago. To hear the story so many years later in Maya Angelous voice was truly amazing. I feel I've been given a gift by her for which I say thank you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sue Jackson
  • 03-18-16

Excellent chance to read this autobiography!!

Would you listen to I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings again? Why?

Not this one but other books of Maya Angelou's, yes :)

Who was your favorite character and why?

Marguerite/Maya, coz she's an inspiration!

Which character – as performed by Maya Angelou – was your favourite?

Herself

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

All but it was a real eye opener 're segregation in the South, only Vanilla ice cream allowed on Fourth July to black people , really!!! :(

Any additional comments?

Will read more of her .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Leya
  • 07-24-15

Fascinating, insightful, and a total must

This is an amazing book. It is not only a picture of southern Black life in 1930s America but a very personal account of a troubled and brave childhood.

She writes with warm, flowing language rich with colour and texture. Maya Angelou can make you understand all the hardship she, and many like her, went through because of her colour, age and gender without ever indulging in self pitty. I loved it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-25-17

Maya Angelou's voice transported me back in time.

This was an intriguing autobiography of an amazing woman. Her story telling is so vivid, so full of emotion, it felt like I was there.

I played it in my car, each day on the way home from work. It was like I was listening to an old friend who let me into their world.

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  • Holly Parker
  • 07-31-17

Thoroughly enjoyable

A thoroughly enjoyable read detailing life in the 20th century for black children crowing up in America and a kinship with a general female coming of age, only made better by Maya Angelou's narration.

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  • Ms. Judy L. Sturgis
  • 06-01-17

Stunning

I absolutely loved this book. It really touched my heart and soul. Just beautifully stunning.

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  • Debbie Walsh
  • 12-05-17

Couldn't put it down!

What an amazing storyteller. Made all the more fascinating by the fact that its true.

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  • Brigid
  • 07-27-17

Read by Maya Angelou, what more could you ask for?

What did you like most about I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?

To have the author and main character herself read the book made the experience so personal. It is such an important insight into her life and the lives of millions which is as relevant today as it was when it came out.

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  • Jacimac
  • 12-17-16

Poignant story of young black girl

Brought up in the southern states in the 1930/40s , and experiencing a disjointed childhood with both love and abuse, Maya becomes a woman. Narrated beautifully by the writer herself . I highly recommend this poetic coming of age book. I am off to look for more writing by this author now.

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  • C
  • 06-18-15

A classic narrative

This is a profoundly moving ,insightful and entertaining narrative and an eloquent and subtle book

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  • BERIS
  • 05-30-15

great author.

I have learnt so much about that time period. It gives an insight to a lovely soul who handles hardship with such forgiveness.

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  • Michael
  • 05-23-15

Always good to hear a book read by the author.

Well written, an important book to read. Unfortunately can't find the next one on Audible.