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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings


I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou’s debut memoir, first published in 1969, is a modern American classic beloved worldwide.


Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.


Poetic and powerful, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read.


I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings liberates the reader into life simply because Maya Angelou confronts her own life with such a moving wonder, such a luminous dignity.”—James Baldwin

From the Hardcover edition.



About the Author

Poet, writer, performer, teacher, and director, Maya Angelou was raised in Stamps, Arkansas, and then moved to San Francisco. In addition to her bestselling autobiographies, she has also written a cookbook, Hallelujah! The Welcome Table, and five poetry collections, including I Shall Not Be Moved and Shaker, Why Dont You Sing?

Product Details

Angelou, Maya
Ballantine Books
American - African American
cultural heritage
Authors, American -- 20th century.
African American authors
People of Color
autobiography;memoir;biography;non-fiction;fiction;african american;women;racism;literature;poetry;20th century;classics;rape;classic;arkansas;coming of age;race;american;maya angelou;civil rights;feminism;african americans;childhood;abuse;american litera
autobiography;memoir;biography;non-fiction;fiction;african american;women;racism;literature;poetry;20th century;classics;rape;arkansas;race;classic;coming of age;maya angelou;civil rights;american;feminism;african americans;childhood;abuse;american litera
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
6.92x4.18x.81 in. .33 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Literary
Biography » Women
Children's » Awards » Coretta Scott King Award Winners
Featured Titles » Bestsellers
Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings New Mass Market
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Product details 304 pages Ballantine Books - English 9780345514400 Reviews:
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