• I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

  • By: Maya Angelou
  • Narrated by: Maya Angelou
  • Length: 10 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (9,379 ratings)

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings  By  cover art

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

By: Maya Angelou
Narrated by: Maya Angelou
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Publisher's summary

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

Critic reviews

" 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)

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All genres considered, the memoir is among the most difficult and complex for a writer to pull off. After all, giving voice to your own lived experience and recounting deeply painful or uncomfortable memories in a way that still engages and entertains is a remarkable feat. These autobiographies, often narrated by the authors themselves, shine with raw, unfiltered emotion sure to resonate with any listener. But don't just take our word for it—queue up any one of these listens, and you'll hear exactly what we mean.