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Extended Audio Sample A Song Flung Up to Heaven, by Maya Angelou Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (667 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Maya Angelou Narrator: Maya Angelou Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The culmination of a unique achievement in modern American literature: the six volumes of autobiography that began more than thirty years ago with the appearance of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

A Song Flung up to Heavenopens as Maya Angelou returns from Africa to the United States to work with Malcolm X. But first she has to journey to California to be reunited with her mother and brother. No sooner does she arrive there than she learns that Malcolm X has been assassinated.

Devastated, she tries to put her life back together, working on the stage in local theaters and even conducting a door-to-door survey in Watts. Then Watts explodes in violence, a riot she describes firsthand.

Subsequently, on a trip to New York, she meets Martin Luther King, Jr., who asks her to become his coordinator in the North, and she visits black churches all over America to help support King’s Poor People’s March.

But once again tragedy strikes. King is assassinated, and this time Angelou completely withdraws from the world, unable to deal with this horrible event. Finally, James Baldwin forces her out of isolation and insists that she accompany him to a dinner party—where the idea for writing I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is born. In fact, A Song Flung up to Heaven ends as Maya Angelou begins to write the first sentences of Caged Bird.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Angela | 2/17/2014

    " Maya Angelou's mother used to say, "Keep your eyes on the road, your hand on the plow, your finger in the dike, your shoulder to the wheel, and push like hell." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Debbe | 2/6/2014

    " The last of Angelou's biographical memoirs. I didn't always like what she was doing but I admire her resilience. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jeanie | 2/5/2014

    " Not as gripping as her earlier years, but still interesting to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Amy | 1/26/2014

    " I think I liked each volume of Maya Angelou's autobiographies better than the previous, maybe because I grew to like Angelou better in each volume. Not to say that I didn't like her in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, but just that her growth as a woman and a writer is clear in each succeeding volume. She shows a wonderful ability to capture her voice from each period in her life. "

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