I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Maya Angelou I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is the first of the five volumes of Maya Angelous autobiography. It’s a milestone in African-American literature. In her strikingly lyrical prose, Angelou recounts her uncertain childhood in America in the 1930s and her changing relationships. When her parents get divorced, her four-year-old brother and she (three years old) are taken from the parental home and sent to their grandmother (Mamma) in rural Arkansas, where racial segregation still prevails. Mamma gives them a strict moral upbringing. When Maya is eight years old, she goes to live with her mother in St. Louis, where she is abused and raped by her mother’s partner. Later, she returns to Mommy with her brother, before moving back in with her mother in California. The book ends with the birth of Maya’s first child,Guy. Against the backdrop of racial tension, Maya Angelou confronts the trau¬matic events of her own life and explores the development of her own identity as an African-American woman. Her individual and cultural feelings of displacement are tempered by her passion for literature, which is both healing and empowering. JW

Author I geb. 1928 (US) First issue l 1970 Publisher I Random House ( Orig. title j / Know Why the Caged Bird Sings