“I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” is a memoir of Maya Angelou’s childhood, sharing the events and people who were important to her as she entered into adulthood. It discusses issues emphasizing family and relationships, racism, classism, sexism (along with other ‘isms that were important in her life), self-discovery and personal growth. While many of the events highlight her ability to survive in uncertain circumstances (which seems to be a strong family trait), her tales denote the strength in those who have endured and not the scars or self-pity that such damaging situations can create. It is one of those rare books that can stir up tears and giggles with its honestly and authenticity — it is both serious and light-hearted, a true reflection of whom I felt the author to be. I felt like I knew a real person (someone I knew to be an admirable person) before the first chapter had ended. Ms. Angelou has the power to bring forth and normalize the most common of human experiences while also surviving some of the most horrendous and terrifying (and not at all common) situations. I am even more in awe of her after finishing this book.
Three words that describe this book: Vulnerable, Inspirational, Real
You might want to pick this book up if: You’re working through the list of “1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die.”