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Publisher's 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 listeners say about I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

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Reaches to your soul.

Maya Angelou's honest and painful and uplifting story is read by her in her old age, adding extra poignancy to this reflection on her childhood years, with the richness and wisdom of her voice lending a special magic to the account. Her insights into her own character and development and the perceptions of her young mind on the people and world around her make this such a thought provoking and life-affirming story.

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great author.

I have learnt so much about that time period. It gives an insight to a lovely soul who handles hardship with such forgiveness.

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A beautiful story, informative and soulfilling

An awakening account into the first 17 years of a brilliant lady. I enjoyed this story so much.

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AMAZING!!

An absolute delight to listen to Maya narrate. What a life she lived. Looking forward to the next one.
Rich rich words

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Raw, honest, real

blatantly honest and therfore relatable. so wonderful to enjoy a narration by the author herself.

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Absolutely glorious

Maya Angelou reading her own book, her singing, her Southern drawl, and her magical writing just put this book on my top favorites of all time.

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Just beautiful

To hear Maya’s life journey in her spoken words is wonderful. Her voice carries each word perfectly and adds an extra personal touch of her character to the book. Inspiring!

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Great book

Love Maya's story and her journey. What an amazing story. Thanks for sharing it with the world.

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very enjoyable & educational

very enjoyable and educational. reveling the untold truth. now I know why people do what they do even though I might think differently. understanding the differences in empowering & healing.

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Couldn't put it down!

What an amazing storyteller. Made all the more fascinating by the fact that its true.

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  • Berkley Neely
  • 31-08-2021

engaging and powerful.

I enjoyed this book tremendously, she tells her strong so bravely and marks out the beginning of her life's word to greatness

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-02-2021

I loved everything about it.

Beautiful storytelling, her voice was so soothing it reminded me of my own grandmother.

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  • Brad
  • 13-04-2020

Amazing, as expected.

A classic. A must listen from the legend herself. I highly recommend this audio.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-02-2020

Beauitful and raw

Beautifully written, raw account of an incredible woman’s life whose words and wisdom have touched so many.

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  • Fionn Rogan
  • 08-12-2019

Simply extraordinary

Never moved as much by a story, never have I encountered such a reading. Maya Angelou’s story and voice are soul stirring and riveting.

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  • Jennifer Elliott
  • 26-01-2019

A must read!

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

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  • S Morris
  • 13-09-2016

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.

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  • Smith
  • 08-09-2017

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.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Tessa Hancock
  • 12-03-2015

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.

31 people found this helpful

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  • Kat
  • 19-01-2016

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.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Tea Jenny
  • 07-06-2015

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 .

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  • Sue Jackson
  • 18-03-2016

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 .

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  • didieneutron
  • 29-08-2019

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.

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  • Mrs
  • 08-07-2019

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.

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  • jade
  • 11-03-2020

Incredible

Laughs, cry and very touching reminders that you the reader are human too.

A really beautiful experience to get through this on the audiobook - in Maya’s voice - what a treat, sit back and get lost in Maya’s world

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