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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

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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.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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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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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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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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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
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 24-07-15

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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Fantastic story telling.

I am sorry I didn't read/listen to it years ago. can't wait to read/listen to another Maya Angelou clasdic

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Brilliant

This is an excellent book with stunning narration. There is nothing more to be said.

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One of my all time favourite books.

When I first read this book as a teen it changed my life. It set me on a path to my future career and made me a devotee of Maya Angelou's word for life.
I've read it again several times in the intervening years but nothing quite matches the pleasure of hearing Maya tell her own story in this audio book recording.