The Collected Autobiographies of Maya Angelou (Modern Library)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
This Modern Library edition contains I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Gather Together in My Name, Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas, The Heart of a Woman, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes, and A Song Flung Up to Heaven.
When I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was published to widespread acclaim in 1969, Maya Angelou garnered the attention of an international audience with the triumphs and tragedies of her childhood in the American South. This soul-baring memoir launched a six-book epic spanning the sweep of the author’s incredible life. Now, for the first time, all six celebrated and bestselling autobiographies are available in this handsome one-volume edition.
Dedicated fans and newcomers alike can follow the continually absorbing chronicle of Angelou’s life: her formative childhood in Stamps, Arkansas; the birth of her son, Guy, at the end of World War II; her adventures traveling abroad with the famed cast of Porgy and Bess; her experience living in a black expatriate “colony” in Ghana; her intense involvement with the civil rights movement, including her association with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X; and, finally, the beginning of her writing career.
The Collected Autobiographies of Maya Angelou traces the best and worst of the American experience in an achingly personal way. Angelou has chronicled her remarkable journey and inspired people of every generation and nationality to embrace life with commitment and passion.
to her uneasy chair. “Now, Rita, let’s have a little talk. You were so tired when L.D. brought you in last night, I thought I’d wait till morning to tell you how I run this place.” I pulled my attention from the little red mouths that were nibbling up the string. “L.D. said your work name was Sugar. I think that goes with you. You so young and quiet. Now, here’s how it goes. In your room you have a tablet, and when you take a trick he pays me; and after, I sign your book. If you didn’t have a
mixture of insecurities and stubbornness, and a five-year-old son who had never known a father’s discipline. “Do you love him? I admit I’d find that hard to believe. But then I know love goes where it’s sent, even in a dog’s behind. Do you love him? Answer me.” I didn’t answer. “Then tell me why. Just why are you going to marry him?” I knew Vivian Baxter appreciated honesty above all other virtues. I told her, “Because he asked me, Mother.” She looked at me until her eyes softened and her
conversationalist. Conversation was easy. He brought flowers for me and held my hand in the living room. My cooking received his highest praise and he laughed at my wit. Our home life was an Eden of constant spring, but Tosh was certain the serpent lay coiled just beyond our gate. Only two former Navy friends (white), one jazz pianist (Black) and Ivonne were allowed to visit our domestic paradise. He explained that the people I liked or had known or thought I liked were all stupid and beneath
clanks of chains and ribbons of beads, or by pale pink lips and heavily drawn doe eyes. Their presence among the pretty people enchanted me. It was like seeing frogs buzzed by iridescent dragonflies. The young men, whose names were Alfie, Reggie and Roddy and Fran, hovered around these fat women, teasing them, tickling them, offering to share a portion of their svelte beauty. None of the company spoke to me. That I was one of the three Negroes in the room, the only Negro woman and a stranger as
spoke to each other, obviously making suggestions which one or the other would reject. Dieter said, “Get Torvash to tell an Israeli joke. He must know millions. He comes from a people known for their black humor.” He smiled, “No pun intended.” Torvash spoke, looking directly at me. “I do know a story. It’s not an Israeli one, nor is it, strictly speaking, a German story, but rather German and Jewish. If that’s all right?” The air tightened in the room and there was a barely audible gasp from