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Publisher's Summary

The culmination of a unique achievement in modern American literature: the six volumes of autobiography that began more than thirty years ago with the appearance of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

A Song Flung Up to Heaven opens as Maya Angelou returns from Africa to the United States to work with Malcolm X. But first she has to journey to California to be reunited with her mother and brother. No sooner does she arrive there than she learns that Malcolm X has been assassinated.

Devastated, she tries to put her life back together, working on the stage in local theaters and even conducting a door-to-door survey in Watts. Then Watts explodes in violence, a riot she describes firsthand.
Subsequently, on a trip to New York, she meets Martin Luther King, Jr., who asks her to become his coordinator in the North, and she visits black churches all over America to help support King's Poor People's March.

But once again tragedy strikes. King is assassinated, and this time Angelou completely withdraws from the world, unable to deal with this horrible event. Finally, James Baldwin forces her out of isolation and insists that she accompany him to a dinner party - where the idea for writing I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is born. In fact, A Song Flung Up to Heaven ends as Maya Angelou begins to write the first sentences of Caged Bird.

©2002 Maya Angelou (P)2002 Random House Inc., Random House Voices, an Imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

  • Grammy Award Winner, Best Spoken Word Album, 2002

What listeners say about A Song Flung Up to Heaven

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cecil
  • 26-07-2004

Being there is part of the strength of this book.

This wonderful woman knew and helped and was helped by three of the now dead heroes of my youth--James Baldwin, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. And she was in Watts interviewing housewives for a marketing company when the citizens started burning and looting the stores. In short, she was intimately involved in many major events of our recent past; she knew both the leaders and the followers and has the skill as a writer to tell us how she and they reacted to those events. In addition, she has a great voice (she also sang professionally), which she uses to fine effect as the reader of her own book. Paraphrasing Holden Caulfield, I just wish I could call her up and ask her what's been happening lately. Buy this audio book; listen to her; you'll feel like you've been blessed for having done so.

12 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cynthia
  • 18-03-2003

best book I have listened to

This was excellent. It is amazing the various things Angelou has done. Having her read it was so neat. She is interesting whether she is talking about family interactions, setting up for job and living in a new city, or very dramatic historic events such as Watts explosions.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Geneva
  • 21-08-2004

Fantastic

Truly enjoyed hearing this title. Her voice inflections and tone added to the book's value for me. I appreciated hearing her honest depiction of life events. Maya Angelou's writing style allowed me to feel moments of joy and of pain.

5 people found this helpful

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  • HerHighness
  • 05-02-2015

Maya is awesome

Exactly what I needed to hear. She showed me that 40 is an awesome age to start my next chapter

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  • Sue-Ellen
  • 22-02-2012

Song flung up to heaven

If you could sum up A Song Flung Up to Heaven in three words, what would they be?

somber, gentle, heroic

What other book might you compare A Song Flung Up to Heaven to and why?

i know why the caged bird sings

What does Maya Angelou bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

her own word emphases, humor, joyful and sorrowful voice

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes

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  • Dawana M.
  • 13-06-2020

WE DIDN'T DESERVE HER!

Absolutely loved and appreciate the voice of Dear Mother Maya! Her wisdom, grace, poise, power, elegance, and eloquence astounds me with every syllable written or spoken. Do yourself and your children a favor and give them the gift of hearing one of the GREATEST TO EVER LIVE!!!

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  • Dumi
  • 22-08-2018

Relatable and beautiful Maya

I loved this one more than the other autobiographies in her series. It was real and raw but relatable. I took tangible lessons from it, not in a “lofty ideals” kind of way but in a “do this and that tomorrow” kind of way. It soothed me and now I miss her more.

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  • Vanessa
  • 20-12-2020

Great

Loved it and Maya was a great story teller and I felt like I was part of her life.

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  • ^B*struggle
  • 08-11-2020

How Sweet The Song

If you've ever had the opportunity to sit at the foot of one of your all times fav people and feast on their intricate, honest and fascinatingly resplendent journey...then this is it!💖💫 The bonus is her irreplaceable signature tone as the narrator.

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  • Cee Cee
  • 01-05-2020

Wonderfully Written

She was Brilliant & no one could have read her book 📖 Thank You 🙏🏽 Maya Angelou RIP

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