This is one of my all time favorites. It was a required reading in Jr. High and it affected me emotionally then. Now, as an adult at 47, I purchased it to read again. I still feel the emotional roller coaster over the hard and cruel life that Maya (Marguerite) faced as a child. But she managed to survive and master her emotions to become a strong independent woman very early in life. By sharing her life story she has become a shining beacon for others, to show no matter how down-trodden, hopeless, alone or abandoned you may feel, if you dig deep within yourself you have the power to endure, persevere, and overcome. She is an outstanding icon to women everywhere.
Maya Angelou recounts a youth filled with disappointment, frustration, tragedy, and finally hard-won independence. Sent at a young age to live with her grandmother in Arkansas, Angelou learned a great deal from this exceptional woman and the tightly knit black community there. These very lessons carried her throughout the hardships she endured later in life, including a tragic occurrence while visiting her mother in St. Louis and her formative years spent in California--where an unwanted pregnancy changed her life forever. Marvelously told, with Angelou's "gift for language and observation," this "remarkable autobiography by an equally remarkable black woman from Arkansas captures, indelibly, a world of which most Americans are shamefully ignorant."
A wonderfully written and insightful autobiography about a part of Angelou's life. Her spirit shines through and serves as a model to all who become acquainted with her.
First of Angelou's autobiographies, covering her childhood split between the rural home of her grandmother in Arkansas and the California big-city home of her mother. Angelou writes unsparingly of her childhood sexual assault and her adolescent doubts about her own sexuality. But the most luminous sections of the book deal with her reminiscences of the interconnected web of the black community at her grandmother's home, particularly their strong religious beliefs.
Maya presents the characters and story of this book through an interesting perspective. Very readable. The story makes a person reflect on their time growing up and its future ramifications.