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Maya Angelou's seven 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

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780860685111
ISBN-10: 086068511X
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 130mm x 23mm)
Pages: 320
Imprint: Virago Press Ltd
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 26-Jan-1984
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » The first of five volumes of autobiography describing Angelou's often traumatic life is written with the pen of a poet who never loses her courage, resilience and optimism. Her story opens with her brilliantly evoked childhood in the American South of the 1930s, and the birth of her son shortly after graduating from High School. She goes on to describe her years in the slums of San Francisco, the lucky break which led to her transformation into a successful singer and dancer, her moves into writing and politics, and the relationship with her son Guy. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » Maya Angelou is a natural writer with an inordinate sense of life and she has written an exceptional autobiographical narrative which retrieves her first sixteen years from "the general darkness just beyond the great blinkers of childhood." Her story is told in scenes, ineluctably moving scenes, from the time when she and her brother were sent by her fancy living parents to Stamps, Arkansas, and a grandmother who had the local Store. Displaced they were and "If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat." But alternating with all the pain and terror (her rape at the age of eight when in St. Louis With her mother) and humiliation (a brief spell in the kitchen of a white woman who refused to remember her name) and fear (of a lynching - and the time they buried afflicted Uncle Willie under a blanket of vegetables) as well as all the unanswered and unanswerable questions, there are affirmative memories and moments: her charming brother Bailey - her own "unshakable God"; a revival meeting in a tent; her 8th grade graduation; and at the end, when she's sixteen, the birth of a baby. Times When as she says "It seemed that the peace of a day's ending was an assurance that the covenant God made with children, Negroes and the crippled was still in effect." However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book - an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Maya Angelou

Dr Maya Angelou was one of the world's most important writers and activists. Born 4 April 1928, she lived and chronicled an extraordinary life: rising from poverty, violence and racism, she became a renowned author, poet, playwright, civil rights' activist - working with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King - and memoirist. She wrote and performed a poem, 'On the Pulse of Morning', for President Clinton on his inauguration; she was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama and was honoured by more than seventy universities throughout the world. She first thrilled the world with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969). This was followed by six volumes of autobiography, the seventh and final volume, Mom & Me & Mom, published in 2013. She wrote three collections of essays; many volumes of poetry, including His Day is Done, a tribute to Nelson Mandela; and two cookbooks. She had a lifetime appointment as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University of North Carolina. Dr Angelou died on 28 May 2014.

Books By Author Maya Angelou

Rainbow in the Cloud by Maya Angelou

Rainbow in the Cloud

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From the Heart by Maya Angelou

From the Heart

Hardback, April 2016
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Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry by Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Hardback, March 2015
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