I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

  • by Maya Angelou
  • Narrated by Maya Angelou
  • 10 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 - or listen.


What the Critics Say

"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 beautiful book - an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.... Maya Angelou is a natural writer with an inordinate sense of life and she has written an exceptional autobiographical narrative.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Simultaneously touching and comic.” (The New York Times)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

a much loved book

If you could sum up I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings in three words, what would they be?


What did you like best about this story?

the details of her life growing up

What does Maya Angelou bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Dr. Angelou's voice telling her own story cannot be surpassed. However, it felt like she may have recorded the narrative more recently, as her narrative sometimes fumbles, almost as if she's not reading her own words. But wouldn't trade her voice for anyone else.

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- Amazon Customer

Really good book!

What made the experience of listening to I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings the most enjoyable?

Maya Angelou was reading the book.

What other book might you compare I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings to and why?


Which character – as performed by Maya Angelou – was your favorite?

Her GrandMother.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me laugh and made me upset sometimes. I don't want to give to much detail of the book.

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- C.C.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-04-2011
  • Publisher: Random House Audio