I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
By Maya Angelou
(Random House Trade Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780812980028, 304pp.)
Publication Date: April 21, 2009
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Here is a book as joyous and painful, and as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou’s first memoir, published in 1969 is a modern American classic beloved worldwide.
Sent by their mother to 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.” When she journeys at eight to her mother’s side in St. Louis, she is attacked by a man many times her age. Years later, in San Francisco, she learns about love for herself–and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. The kindness of others, Maya’s 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–now in a beautiful keepsake edition–I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings will touch hearts and change minds as long as people read.
Poet, writer, performer, teacher, and director, Maya Angelou was raised in Stamps, Arkansas, and then moved to San Francisco. In addition to her bestselling autobiographies, beginning with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, she has also written a cookbook, Hallelujah! The Welcome Table, and five poetry collections, including I Shall Not Be Moved and Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing?
Praise for I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
“More than a tour de force of language or the story of childhood suffering . . . A summary of the incidents cannot do this book justice; one has to read it to appreciate its sensitivity and life.”
“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.”
“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.”
“Simultaneously touching and comic.”
–The New York Times
“A heroic and beautiful book.”
–Cleveland Plain Dealer
More than 150 writers from 40 events will gather in New York City for PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, April 28 – May 4, 2014.
For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org