Synopses & Reviews
Maya Angelou has fascinated, moved, and inspired countless readers with the first three volumes of her autobiography, one of the most remarkable personal narratives of our age. Now, in her fourth volume, The Heart of a Woman
, her turbulent life breaks wide open with joy as the singer-dancer enters the razzle-dazzle of fabulous New York City. There, at the Harlem Writers Guild, her love for writing blazes anew.
Her compassion and commitment lead her to respond to the fiery times by becoming the northern coordinator of Martin Luther King's history-making quest. A tempestuous, earthy woman, she promises her heart to one man only to have it stolen, virtually on her weding day, by a passionate African freedom fighter.
Filled with unforgettable vignettes of famous characters, from Billie Holiday to Malcolm X, The Heart of a Woman sings with Maya Angelou's eloquent prose -- her fondest dreams, deepest disappointments, and her dramatically tender relationship with her rebellious teenage son. Vulnerable, humorous, tough, Maya speaks with an intimate awareness of the heart within all of us.
About the Author
Poet, writer, performer, teacher and director Maya Angelou was raised in Stamps, Arkansas, and then went to San Francisco. In addition to her bestselling autobiographies, beginning with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
, she has also written five poetry collections, including I Shall Not Be Moved
and Shaker, Why Don't You Sing?
, as well as the celebrated poem "On the Pulse of Morning," which she read at the inauguration of President William Jefferson Clinton.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Reading Group Guide
1. What is the significance of Maya quitting show business to become a civil rights activist?
2. Maya's husband Make is a freedom fighter--yet he treats Maya as a possession. Why do you think Maya stays with him? Do you think Make sees his own hypocrisy, and why or why not?
3. When approached by a friendly stranger, Maya's mother remarks, "He's colored and I'm colored, but we are not cousins." What episodes in the memoir might evoke the same response from Maya?
4. The memoir concludes with a poignant scene, as Guy bids farewell to Maya before he goes to college. Guy is characteristically wise, brave, and mature for his years. What do his parting words say about his perceived role in their relationship? How has Maya's role changed?
Memoirist, novelist, poet, and dramatist, Maya Angelou is one of the best-loved writers of our time. She is widely acclaimed for her searing, inspiring writings--and she has been praised for confronting both the racial and sexual pressures on black women, and for infusing her work with a perspective on larger social and political movements, including civil rights.
In the volumes of her bestselling personal story--one of the most remarkable narratives ever shared--Maya Angelou writes about the struggles and triumphs of her extraordinary life with candor, humor, poignancy, and grace. These include:
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
The classic autobiography of her young years.
Gather Together In My Name
The coming-of-age story of her struggle for survival as a young unwed mother.
Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas
The saga of her show business career, her failed marriage, and her early motherhood.
The Heart of a Woman
The turbulent story of her emergence as a writer and a political activist.
Wouldn't Take Nothing For My Journey Now
Her exhilarating collection of wisdom, spirituality, and life lessons.