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I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou

I’m so glad I chose to listen to this audio book this month. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is the first part of Maya Angelou’s autobiography. It describes her childhood and how her character was developed from a very early age.

front cover of I know why the caged bird sings, showing a pink background with one bird in a cage and one on a branch
By: Maya Angelou
Narrated by: Maya Angelou
Length: 10 hrs and 11 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 04-04-14
Language: English
Publisher: Hachette Audio UK

The Blurb

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

My Review on Why the Caged Bird Sings

Most people have heard an inspirational quote from Maya Angelou.

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you, a quote from Maya Angelou

This is why I decided to read her autobiography. I know why the Caged Bird Sings is the first book.

Maya Angelou was an American author, actress, screenwriter, dancer, poet and civil rights activist best known for her 1969 memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which made literary history as the first nonfiction bestseller by an African American woman.

I listened to the book on Audible and it was narrated by Maya Angelou herself. It really gave a personal touch to such a personal story. Her young life was difficult and she had some pretty awful experiences. But when you finish you come away with the sense that she had amazing strength and compassion from a young age. It’s easy to understand that she would become someone who is prepared to speak her mind and make a difference in the world. She will forever be remembered. Not bad for a young girl brought up by her grandma in Arkansas in the early 1930s.

I can’t wait to read the rest of her autobiography.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill, of things unknown, but longed for still, and his tune is heard on the distant hill, for the caged bird sings of freedom.

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6 thoughts on “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou”

    1. It was, and I can’t wait to listen to more. It definitely takes you to the place of her birth and makes you feel a part of it all. My heart goes out to any person of colour who lived in the USA in those times, it sure was tough. (I’m not sure it’s really all that much better now, sadly.)

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