In this first of five volumes of autobiography, poet Maya Angelou recounts a youth filled with disappointment, frustration, tragedy, and finally hard-won independence. Sent at a young age to live with her grandmother in Arkansas, Angelou learned a great deal from this exceptional woman and the tightly knit black community there. These very lessons carried her throughout the hardships she endured later in life, including a tragic occurrence while visiting her mother in St. Louis and her formative years spent in California--where an unwanted pregnancy changed her life forever. Marvelously told, with Angelou's "gift for language and observation," this "remarkable autobiography by an equally remarkable black woman from Arkansas captures, indelibly, a world of which most Americans are shamefully ignorant."
Praise for I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS
"I know that not since the days of my childhood, when people in books were more real than people one saw every day, have I found myself so moved."
Praise for GATHER TOGETHER IN MY NAME
"Gather Together in My Name
is part of a select body of literature that includes The Autobiography of Malcolm X
, Claude Brown's Manchild in the Promised Land
and Ernest J. Gaines' The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
. Maya Angelou regards the world and herself with intelligence and wit; she records the events of her life with style and grace."
-William McPherson, The Washington Post Book World
Praise for ALL GOD'S CHILDREN NEED TRAVELING SHOES
"This is a superb account by a great women who has embraced a difficult destiny with rare intelligence and infectious joie de vivre."-The Boston Globe