Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

By Charlotte
Book Review: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Official FC Rating: 

This book was very well written (I mean obviously, it's Maya Angelou) and so very enjoyable... but it also took me longer to read than most books do. My reading level probably isn't what it ought to be. Remedy: Read! More! Books!

Even if they're harder to read, extremely well written books are my favorite. Not only do we get to delight in a beautiful story, but we also get to sit and marvel at the English language. Reading it gave me the same sort of feeling I experienced after reading The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis (though, and I feel like this is nearly blasphemy, but I think I enjoy Mathis' writing more than Angelou's). It's autobiography, but she does such a wonderful job writing it that it feels like a beloved piece of literature.  

Angelou's story is beautiful, if haunting. There are very, very sad parts. But she writes us her life from childhood on, and despite all of the hard circumstances or violent actions, she makes us smile often. She writes with total authenticity, giving us glimpses of childhood in such a way that transports the reader to Stamps, Arkansas. I've read many memoirs, biographies, and autobiographies, and none have made me feel quite as present as Angelou's. Her writing is vivid and honest, and it feels like a privilege and a treat to be able to read her story of self discovery and confidence. 

Bottom line: I'd recommend this book to anyone. Especially in our current political climate. Many of the things Maya Angelou experienced are things people still experience today. Read this book for the writing but also for the story of a black woman in America.

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