Monday, March 16, 2015
Reading Through the Classics: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
AUTHOR: Maya Angelou
PREMISE: Author Maya Angelou tells about the first part of her life from her earliest memories on up to her late teens.
THOUGHTS: So, in the past when I've read a classic, I haven't reviewed it here. I'm of the firm opinion that when it comes to classics I probably don't have anything new and insightful to add. Some of these books have literally been around for HUNDREDS of years. In this book's case, decades, which is still a lot of time. Probably anything that could be said about the book, has already been said about the book. When it comes to classics, people are either going to pick it up because they want to, or they just won't bother. So me encouraging people to read something probably would be preaching to the choir because you likely already know if you'll be reading a classic or not.
So, instead of my usual ratings with classics, I'm just going to post on why I think this has endured and gone on to be a classic. In this book's case, I suspect it had a lot to do with timing. Sometimes, it really is all a matter of timing. This book came out just at the right time that people would embrace it and be willing to read it.
It's endured as a classic, because it's damn good. Angelou actually made me forget a few times that I was reading memoir. To me, those are the best kind of memoirs. The ones where you have to remind yourself that this isn't fiction, this was a real person. It's just one of those memoirs that makes you think and feel. It ends somewhat abruptly because this is only the first part of her life. But otherwise, this is a spectacular memoir. I definitely plan on reading the others. For those interested in the rest they are:
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
A Song Flung Up to Heaven
Mom and Me and Mom (not technically apart of the autobiography series, but does go into her complicated history/relationships with her mother(s))
Also check out her poetry if you're not like me and you know a thing or two about poetry:
Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women
The Complete Collected Poems