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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Narrated by: Maya Angelou
Length: 10 hrs and 11 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (685 ratings)

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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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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.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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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.

24 of 26 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.

6 of 6 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 .

5 of 5 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 .

3 of 3 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful book !

I absolutly adore an autobiography that takes you back in time and along on a Journey. Maya Angelou was a remarkable Lady who lived many lives and had a very true, very real up bringing that not only paints the reality of what life was like back then but is also relatable today. I had a wonderful time and I'm glad it's only book n°1.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs
  • Kew, Australia
  • 08-07-19

A story that makes you think.

A fabulous story read by the author about growing up in segregated America. You can not but help be drawn into the story.

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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I'm sorry I hadn't discovered Maya Angelou earlier

a roller coaster of laughter, tears and worry a to what will happen next. a real education.

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  • Jennifer Elliott
  • 26-01-19

A must read!

There is poetry in every sentence - I hung on every word! Listen learn and enjoy.