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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 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (112,402 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Maya Angelou Narrator: Maya Angelou Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2005 ISBN: 9780739334706
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Superbly told, with the poet's gift for language and observation, Angelou's autobiography of her childhood in Arkansas - a world of which most Americans are ignorant.

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Quotes & Awards

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings liberates the reader into life simply because Maya Angelou confronts her own life with such a moving wonder, such a luminous dignity. James Baldwin
  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A Washington Post Bestseller
  • A Wall Street Journal Bestseller
  • An iTunes Top Seller
  • Winner of the 1971 Coretta Scott King Award for Author Honor
  • Audie Award Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wangechi | 2/16/2014

    " Maya Angelou is brilliant in the way she writes and is not afraid to point out details which might be embarrassing for others "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Polly | 2/15/2014

    " Very interesting autobiography of the life of Maya Angelou from age 3-age 16 as she lived in various places with various family members. Her story of her time in Stamps, AK was especially interesting -with an upright paternal grandmother and an uncle running a store and being one of the elite in a town surrounded by poverty, share croppers and racism. Her own parents seemed immature and selfish and her story of her first stay in St. Louis with her mother, her mother's crazy, violent brothers and an evil step-father was harrowing. And her visit to her father in L.A. with a crazy trip to Mexico, a rejecting, violent step-mom and a month stay with other homeless kids in a used car lot..... She and her brother, Bailey, were exposed to great literature from the start and got solace from escapist reading. Her time in the schools of San Francisco and her breaking of the color (and sex)barrier to become the first Black cable car conductor were interesting. What a life!... and she ends only at age 16 with a major change in circumstances. It was a good book club book capped with listening/watching her deliver a poem at Clinton's inauguration. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jaime | 1/30/2014

    " This fits the bill of depressing-but-beautifully-written books that I usually love so much, with the added benefits of being historical and auto-biographical. Woohoo! I didn't know much about Angelou before reading this book, but man was her early life fascinating. Heartbreaking too, a lot of the time, but all the more amazing for what she has accomplished since then. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allison Jordahl | 1/29/2014

    " 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. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marc L | 1/27/2014

    " This is not a novel, but an autobiography. It's the story of a black American girl, growing up in Arkansas and California in the thirties and fourties of the twentieth C. Interesting as an historical document on racial discrimination and poverty, and as a psychological document on growing up and the female condition. There were a few beautiful and even exhiliarating scenes, and lots of strong pages on the treatment of blacks by white people. And ofcourse the scene of her rape, as an 8 year old, leaves a strong impression. But I must confess, the last third of the book was rather dull. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather Atkins | 1/22/2014

    " This is a heartfelt, touching book that explores the life of the author. Beautifully written and a rare look at one of the greatest poets. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandra. | 1/18/2014

    " Such a touching book. I highly recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paige Bly | 1/3/2014

    " INCREDIBLE! There's not much more to say. I have gone back to this book several times and I just can't say more about Maya Angelou's voice. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suzie Deborah | 12/16/2013

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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly O'connor | 12/2/2013

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

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carol McCullar | 11/8/2013

    " Absolutely loved this book! Ms Angelou writes wonderfully! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kimberly Ann | 11/8/2013

    " I really like d this book and her style of writing. Warning- it is pretty graphic in a couple of places as she had a pretty hard young life. She's amazing though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Renee | 9/18/2013

    " A really informative and entertaining read. I still crave more and more stories of her life in Staples. I felt like the whole book included too many years of her life, but it had an excellent progression. She ended it on something that I want to continue reading about in her next book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Miharu Rokujou | 8/4/2013

    " had to read this for my english class spring quarter and it was pretty good. i might read some more of her books eventually. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lou | 6/27/2013

    " Review and excerpts to come. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allison | 3/31/2013

    " interesting to find out Maya's history...she is a strong woman! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nurseloo | 2/2/2013

    " Excellent, growing up in Detroit during the 50-60's, the view of racism from my raising suggests that this picture is most likely not only possible but true. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy Scheibach | 1/26/2013

    " She certainly has great powers of observation. Interesting story. Ended abruptly. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rajat | 12/16/2012

    " I read this in school - and while I don't remember too much about the details - I do remember it being a fantastic book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Natasa Tovornik | 8/23/2012

    " Maya Angelou's life story with great reflection notes on the past. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janny | 7/17/2012

    " I really don't like autobiographies but this book was surprisingly engaging. I would read it again , and I would definitely recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate Hall | 6/10/2012

    " My all-time favorite book (thus far in my 39 years.) beautiful, inspiring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 3/29/2012

    " I really liked this book. It's well written by a great other. It is definitely inspirational, especially to victims of abuse in any way. I really enjoyed reading the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jill Kathleen McIntyre | 3/13/2012

    " Read this book years ago and it has stayed with me forever - a young girls story of being raised by her grandmother ... And so much more "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ayako Yuki | 1/22/2012

    " I have wanted to read this book for a long time. It was a moving story. It was not easy to live for an Aflican Amwrican girl in America at that time. However Margurite is a strong girl. I am sure she will be successful in the future. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Morgan | 9/13/2011

    " I read this book in highschool for an independent study and did not enjoy it. I skimmed through the ending. "

  • 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.