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Extended Audio Sample The Heart of a Woman 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 (8,917 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: 9780739334690
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Maya Angelou has fascinated, moved, and inspired countless readers with the first three volumes of her autobiography, one of the most remarkable personal narratives of our age. Now, in her fourth volume, The Heart of a Woman, her turbulent life breaks wide open with joy as the singer-dancer enters the razzle-dazzle of fabulous New York City. There, at the Harlem Writers Guild, her love for writing blazes anew.

Her compassion and commitment lead her to respond to the fiery times by becoming the northern coordinator of Martin Luther King's history-making quest. A tempestuous, earthy woman, she promises her heart to one man only to have it stolen, virtually on her weding day, by a passionate African freedom fighter. 

Filled with unforgettable vignettes of famous characters, from Billie Holiday to Malcolm X, The Heart of a Woman sings with Maya Angelou's eloquent prose -- her fondest dreams, deepest disappointments, and her dramatically tender relationship with her rebellious teenage son. Vulnerable, humorous, tough, Maya speaks with an intimate awareness of the heart within all of us.

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Quotes & Awards

  • I know that not since the days of my childhood, when people in books were more real than the people one saw every day, have I found myself SO moved."
  • -- James Baldwin
  • Gather Together in My Name is part of a select body of literature that includes The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Claude Brown's Manchild in the Promised land, and Ernest J. Gaines's The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Maya Angelou regards the world and herself with intelligence and wit; she records the events of her life with style and grace."
  • -- William McPherson, The Washington Post Book World
  • Here the 'caged bird' soars, and sings in a voice as rich and funny, passionate and mellow as any writer I know."
  • -- Shana Alexander
  • Full of laughter and tears, love and hate, failures and triumphs, and above all, understanding."
  • -- John O. Killens
  • Gather Together in My Name

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna | 2/1/2014

    " Maya Angelou is very open in this book about the middle years of her life. While not as profound as I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, it's still an incredibly insightful and honest account of her struggles and achievements. Her openness about her mistakes and fears helped me relate to her a person as opposed to another important figure in history. It makes me want to reread her other auto-biographies. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brandi Mechling | 1/31/2014

    " I am a Maya Angelou fan but I just didn't really care for this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 1/31/2014

    " I read this a long time ago. I don't remeber it well but I really like her books when I was a teenager. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/27/2014

    " I liked this, but not as much as "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy Wise | 1/23/2014

    " I gave this book to all my bridesmaids. I love love love this book, but then again, I love Maya Angelou as a writer, poet and orator. This book is an autobiography of her late teens and twenties and thirties. It talks about the period of time when she was becoming a woman. I recommend this book to every woman I know! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa Luna | 1/22/2014

    " Maya Angelou is just plain brilliant. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Morgan Pugh | 1/20/2014

    " Fourth volume of autobiography. Personal narrative. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Kay | 1/14/2014

    " Loved it as much as the others! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christyn | 12/28/2013

    " Loved her writing style and her ability to pack some much into so little space. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chupwala | 12/9/2013

    " I love Maya Angelou's works. Her words are always carefully spoken and written. Reading this part of her life is a learning experience for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Edy | 12/1/2013

    " I read this years ago. I love Maya Angelou and decided to give this a try. I'm not disappointed at all. She certainly has lead an interesting life! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katrina | 11/23/2013

    " another installment in her autobiograpy "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mom - Joanne | 11/18/2013

    " Articulate understanding of the ways, rituals in culture between men and women. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Missy | 6/4/2013

    " Great writer then can really put you into the story and have you feel everything around you, but I had a hard time getting past a few area where her hatred of her past experiences seemed to ruin the flow of the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judith | 5/15/2013

    " Not as good as the Caged Bird, but not a bad read; extremely open and honest about the personal details of life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rosie Soma | 5/9/2013

    " Wow... loved this book. Looking forward to reading the rest of her work. A truly amazing and inspiring human being, and a phenomenal woman. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katie | 1/12/2013

    " Such an inspiring woman. Wonderful, inspiring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 12/7/2012

    " This is my favorite in her autobiographical series. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andrea | 8/8/2012

    " Not what I was expecting. She has had quite a life! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 4/5/2012

    " american fiction:america mid 1900s-----------black woman in america "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 3/24/2012

    " She is a wonderful woman to follow through her evolution. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Greta Roussos | 6/17/2011

    " Another interesting segment of the nearly charmed life of Maya Angelou, in awe inspiring detail, she details the 1960s on three continents. Powerful, personal and persuasive, Maya finds her own words to describe her life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jessica | 6/16/2011

    " I knew nothing about this book when starting, so I was surprised to find out it was a biography. That said, it was nuts. I hope that her attitudes toward white people have changed. I would hate to think that we can't hang out because we have divergent cultural backgrounds. If so, she can bite me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Damon | 2/27/2011

    " Again, excellent. I do like the first two books better, though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Greta | 2/24/2011

    " Another interesting segment of the nearly charmed life of Maya Angelou, in awe inspiring detail, she details the 1960s on three continents. Powerful, personal and persuasive, Maya finds her own words to describe her life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 CynthiaA | 2/8/2011

    " A wonderful insight into a remarkable life. I truly enjoyed this book about a woman I admire deeply. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynn | 2/6/2011

    " beautiful story, I love her writing. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Pat | 1/27/2011

    " How did she get so revered? Self centered, manipulative,name dropper "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christyn | 1/25/2011

    " Loved her writing style and her ability to pack some much into so little space. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aubrey | 1/17/2011

    " Maya is my book love affair.... The woman can write, and I am her devoted reader. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 1/8/2011

    " Amazing story. Prose that is nearly poetry. Intellectually broadening. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin | 9/26/2010

    " An easy read, and while there were interesting parts, it just didn't do it for me. I didn't think it was great writing and I always thought she was a writer. Perhaps she is more a great African American woman who has done a lot in many ways to further the civil rights movement. "

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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.