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Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: A Casebook

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  340 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
With the continued expansion of the literary canon, multicultural works of modern literary fiction and autobiography have assumed an increasing importance for students and scholars of American literature. This exciting new series assembles key documents and criticism concerning these works that have so recently become central components of the American literature curriculu ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published December 31st 1998 by Oxford University Press, USA
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Rawan Ismail
Sep 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
I know why the caged bird sings In my opinion was very boring, and not that interesting. I did not like it at all, and I do not recommend this book to anyone. I rated this book a two, because it didn’t get my attention. It was very boring, and confusing. The book was very boring and confusing, because it was just her life, there was no real descriptive climax, other than she got raped. The strengths of this would be how it can really touch people’s hearts, in the book Mayas parents are divorced, ...more
Feb 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
I read this book for the first time in college and didn't really love it- I think our class went way to far into the symbolism of the book (I NEVER can see the symbolism in a book, and I get bored with discussing it). This time around, I really enjoyed reading it. Maya had a tough childhood... it gives me courage that people are able to rise above such trials.
Ayesha Ahmed
Feb 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
not that good or clean
Dec 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I had the pleasure of meeting Maya Angelou at an event several years ago and since that meeting longed to read this book. A great read--which is not surprising for such an amazing woman.
Olivia Cipolla
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thought that even though the book could seem a little slow or gave a lot of graphic information it was a good history lesson about the segregated times that African american people had to go through. It goes through a girls life from the time she was very young to adulthood and I thought that was a good aspect of this book. I recommend this book because throughout Maya's journey she becomes a strong young woman that overcomes and does not tolerate racism or sexism.

I loved watching Maya grow u
Louise Payne
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
I read this book when I was 13 and in school. I loved it then and I still love it now. Up to this day I have still been sharing it with family and friends. When I was 15 I remembering doing a essay on this book and also writing a letter to the author which my teacher had mailed. Out of all the authors to write back Maya Angelou was the only one who did. Unfortunately for me, I was just a nappy-headed little geek and and had no idea that one day I would want that letter, or how much it would mean ...more
Bobbie Darbyshire
Nov 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
I prefer to read fiction (this autobiography was picked by one of my reading groups) so at first I wasn't hooked, seeing it as a series of essays from memory, all written beautifully, with economy, originality, honesty, empathy, humour, but varying in narrative interest. Also as the first big storyline developed, I feared the book was a 1969 precursor of the unappealing 'misery memoir' genre. I was wrong on both counts. The book is far from miserable, even the lulls have their interest, it devel ...more
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A stunning book that made me feel as though I experienced her joy and her pain first hand. Partly because I can relate to her struggles especially when she was younger but also, her writing is simply beautiful. Why I waited this long to read this book I'm not sure but I feel thankful and I am a changed person for it. My favourite quote from the book when Maya stopped speaking after a tragic experience, "Your grandmother says you read a lot. Every chance you get. That's good but not good enough. ...more
Doris Raines
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow. What. And. Tremendous. Woman. She. Could. Not. Only. Write. Poems. She. Could. Also. Sing. Dance. And. Much. More. I. Recommend. This. Book. To. America. To. Not. Just. Read. Check. Out. Her. Empire. And. History. Of. Writeing. Her. Video. And. Many. More. Video s. Especially. This. One. And. All. The. Rest. I. Truelly. Understand. Her. And. Her. Poems. All. One. Word. She. Is. Just. Simply. A. Genius. Thank . you. Maya. Angleou. For. All. Your. Excellence. Works. Doris.
Towanda Lorenz
Jun 10, 2016 marked it as to-read
This was always one of my favorite books. Of course it was read in high school and again as recent as last year. Classic, that's all I can say. I wanted to take a look at this casebook to see if after reading through again as an adult I might find something new. An idea that I might have missed or allowing my adult perspective on things take me into an entirely different direction with this story. We will see.
Written by one of the greatest storytellers of all times. I always imagine her reading
Rose Finnerty
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rajiv Chopra
Sep 06, 2015 rated it liked it
I personally found this book to be okay.

I was rather engaged in the beginning, as I found Maya's description and narrative style to be rather fascinating. As the book progressed, however, I felt that I was losing the plot and started to become a bit disengaged with the book.

A good book that captured my intellect, but not my heart
Feb 25, 2010 rated it it was ok
I learned how difficult it was to live a life as a black person in the South! I learned that society, as a whole, has come a long way in our least most of us!!! I love how Maya writes, but at times got bored.
Apr 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
After reading Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings I felt I knew the real Maya. Angelou doesn't try to cover up any of her mistakes or bad experiences and allows the reader to see her faults. There is no screen between the reader and the author.
Kathy Whipple
Oct 10, 2008 rated it liked it
I love the language that Maya Angelou uses but when I read about her life I am glad I haven't had to have her journey. Her early years were quite rough and somehow she has be able to find a beautiful voice through it all.
Rionna Morgan
Nov 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books everyone should read. It helps define who you are as a human, what it means to have human feelings and how to proceed with that strength and weakness. It is beautiful!
Heather Friedman
Jan 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Amazing autobiography- To kill a mockingbird from the other side of Segregation.
Sep 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Loved it...absolutely LOVED it...but there was some very unexplained business near the end that left me unhinged and a bit confused.
Larry Watson
Mar 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: larry-w
Nobody tells a story like Maya Angelou.
Robert Osenenko
Nov 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Rural life writing from someone who knows the experience cannot be duplicated no matter how many apps they have. A reminder of how important and powerful memoir writing can be.
i bet you just cant keep up with the fashionistas
Classic classic classic classic what more can i say
S.  Dixon, DTR
Nov 29, 2008 rated it liked it
It's amazing to see the turbulent life Maya started out with and who she has become. Her story gives strength to all who read it.
Jul 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
an interesting insight of a black girl from a poor community and how most black children were raised by their grandparents.
Oct 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
It was really sad :'( I cried alot
Apr 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Maya Angelou autobiography. Wow!!. It shoulds you can excel no matter what valleys and lows you life may have. You can break free.
Sep 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Reading for AM lit class in college.
May 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Do I even need to say. CLASSIC!
Corey Greene
Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A timeless classic by one of my favorite writer/poets!
Aug 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I first read this book my junior year in high school. I have read many of her works all worth the time.
Sep 04, 2008 rated it liked it
An amazing piece of writing, I loved every minuite of it.
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