I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
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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
The first and best-known of Maya Angelou's extraordinary seven volumes of autobiography is 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 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, 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.
Reviewing the book in 1970, The Washington Post commented, ‘There isn’t any easy, which is to say false line in the book. The distance, which is everything, is as true as a plumb line. She is outside and inside at the same time, looking at all of it with double vision.’
Our favourite quote: 'There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.'
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