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Extended Audio Sample I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Audiobook, by Maya Angelou Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.0000088965597 out of 54.0000088965597 out of 54.0000088965597 out of 54.0000088965597 out of 54.0000088965597 out of 5 4.00 (112,403 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: January 2011 ISBN: 9780307879387
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Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age–and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns about love for herself and the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.

Poetic and powerful, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is a modern American classic that will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the 1971 Coretta Scott King Award for Author Honor
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A Wall Street Journal Bestseller
  • A Washington Post Bestseller
  • An iTunes Top Seller
  • Audie Award Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynda | 11/3/2017

    " Angelou very poignantly presents her early life history, including all of the disagreeable events that shaped her into the inspiring poet she is today. Very insightful in the area of abuse/neglect, poverty and social levels. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynda | 10/2/2017

    " This book should be required reading for any student in any field of psychological, cultural studies. Very well done. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gin | 2/16/2014

    " Love this book, one I will read again and again and hear a different song each time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrea | 2/12/2014

    " Maya Angelou is one of those authors whose prose just flows. She delivers a mundane detail with the same tone as she delivered her rape. There were so many pages where I wished I could remember her turn of phrase. She crafts the very complex story of her life into bite sized stories that I greedily consumed. I couldn't put this book down. I cried. I laughed. She won my heart. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Madeline Benoit | 2/9/2014

    " I didn't enjoy this book very much...probably because I had a lot of trouble indentifying with it. It was also a little bit depressing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly O'connor | 2/6/2014

    " She's an incredible writer, but her memoir was pretty boring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allison Jordahl | 2/2/2014

    " I thought that it overall was very interesting. Although some of the chapters took longer to read because the subjects weren't as interesting. But a majority of the chapters were intriguing and left me wanted to keep reading and reading. I absolutely loved the way the language was used throughout the book. It wasn't just proper English but actually stated the way people said things during the time of the book. A great read and many people should read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alonzo | 1/21/2014

    " This is one case in which I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had read it myself rather than listened to it. Angelou has a great voice, but her reading is difficult to follow because she stops often in the middle of sentences, thoughts, etc. I plan to some day read the hard copy for myself, because I enjoyed the parts I could follow and I think Angelou is an excellent writer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Noora | 1/16/2014

    " I found this book to be pretty good, not great or amazing, and that's why I gave it a 3 stars. For a non-fiction biography its was amazingly an easy read. I loved how much emotion can be felt through the events of her early childhood and how she touched on really sensitive events in her life. I feel like reading just the first part of her autobiography series isn't enough to get a sense of who Maya Angelou is. I'll have to read the rest of the series and rate them as a whole. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janine | 1/14/2014

    " Love this book so far. Her writing is both eloquent and simple. Poetry and grace. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca Quinn | 11/30/2013

    " I loved Maya's books..they spoke too an honesty of life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathleen | 11/17/2013

    " A good book. I enjoyed the first third more than the rest as it gives a picture of what life was like for Maya Angelou as a little girl. That's who I fell in love with. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cassey | 11/5/2013

    " It is a classic and really brings you into the time period. Just not one of my favorites. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathryn Bundy | 10/19/2013

    " This was my introducation to Maya Angelou and I have loved her ever since. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dspace123 | 10/12/2013

    " I really liked it. It made me appreciate my childhood and what my parents did for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 8/2/2013

    " This is a great book on perspectives and overcoming adversity. Maya Angelou does an excellent job of weaving the story with details that help you identify with the characters. Insightful, but adult content. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shay Leigh | 8/2/2013

    " I absolutely love the way she words each sentence. They are done in a slightly different pattern, so each sentence lasts longer in your mind. You savor them. Beautiful. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Denise Ramos | 6/14/2013

    " This book was terrible. I was forced to read this drek for school and have never forgiven the teacher for falling to peer pressure and imposing this drivel on her students. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annie | 6/3/2013

    " Nonfiction/African American History: very well written, story of her experiences growing up in Baltimore and Mississippi "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda Schneider | 5/20/2013

    " I was captivated by her story. I wished the story would not have ended abruptly. She was brave to be so candid, I think we forget how hard it is to share painful memories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Natasha Hunt | 9/17/2012

    " Most definitely one of the most amazing books ive ever read. Very inspirational! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marcy Marrill | 12/1/2011

    " This was my first Maya Angelou book....I absolutely love the way she writes. The words just flow off the page, swirl around you, and you're sucked in like a vortex! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suzie Deborah | 11/26/2011

    " Anything Maya has written strikes chords in your heart and brings more enlightenment to the plight of black women everywhere. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Clive Maddison | 11/17/2011

    " Enjoyed the book very much. Gives an insight into the life of the author in a bygone time of discrimination in America. It appears that there are five more books that chart the author's life. The writing is cleverly descriptive with some interesting turns of phrase. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather Sylvester | 9/15/2011

    " Dr. Angelou writes about her life in a way that is touching and poetic. She shows us how a person can overcome adversities with dignity and grace. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lorraine | 8/22/2011

    " One of my favorites of all time, a must read! This book sits on my bookshelf so I can reread it time and time again, how many books can you say that about? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 8/19/2011

    " Didn't know much about Maya Angelou before - the book was about her childhood and growing up. She had a tough life and it is amazing that she accomplished what she did with so many obstacles. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Felesia | 5/23/2011

    " Truly inspiring book and a must read for everyone "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danielle | 5/15/2011

    " Maya is so inspirational, I really enjoyed this book "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joseanne | 5/15/2011

    " I love this book because after all the things that maya went through she still learned how to work with all different type of races. this is one of my favorite books for maya Angelou because her books and poems has alot of feelings and lessons. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Briyana | 5/12/2011

    " I have never had to drudge through a book like I had to this one. I had to read it for school. I wanted to burn it by the time I reached the last page. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 China | 5/9/2011

    " The church part is hard to wrap my head around but her story is phenomenal and truly sad. She's a fabulous writer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angelique | 5/8/2011

    " This book is interseting one of my favorite books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brandonford | 5/5/2011

    " I thinnk this book was fantastic. Mya included so many real life situations and true facts about what went on during that time.Mya also added great detail which made me wanting to keep reading more and more which i will continue to do. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Desiree | 5/3/2011

    " I liked this book alot Maya went through alot in her life as a young African American Girl but she still strived to become the best she could in life and not let others hold her back form the best things in life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jay | 5/3/2011

    " i believe that it was a good book and it shows maya struggles through life at first it was kind of baoring and i didnt want to read it "

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About the Author
Author Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou (1928–2014) was a singer, actress, dancer, activist, filmmaker, writer, and mother. In addition to her bestselling autobiographies she wrote several volumes of poetry, including “On the Pulse of the Morning” for the inauguration of President Clinton. She was given a lifetime appointment as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, and in 2010 President Barack Obama awarded her the Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor.