I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969)

Maya Angelou reading at Bill Clinton's inauguration.

Maya Angelou reading at Bill Clinton’s inauguration.

This week we will be reading Maya Angelou’s 1969 work, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The resources provided here are designed to enhance your reading experience, and have been produced by Professor Gina Wisker (University of Brighton).

Book club podcast

Posted by on Sep 17, 2013 in Book 5 - Maya Angelou | 0 comments

Dr Susan Watkins joins the Leeds Metropolitan University Book Club for a discussion of Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The discussion makes reference to the CWWA Book Club discussion points, but ranges widely as book club members provide their own responses to these texts. Do you agree or disagree with any of the issues raised? Dr Susan Watkins joins the Leeds Metropolitan University Book Club for a discussion of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. [ 48:16 ] Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

read more

Recent Angelou Materials

Posted by on Jul 27, 2013 in Book 5 - Maya Angelou | 0 comments

Dr Maya Angelou has just published a book of semi fictionalised autobiography about her relationship with her mother, who appears as a character in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: Mom & Me & Mom | by Maya Angelou | Random House 2013 and she has also produced a book which acts as a letter to the daughter she never had: Letter To My Daughter | by Maya Angelou | Random House, 2008 and like so many writers now, a cookery book. Great Food, All Day Long | by Maya Angelou | Random House 2010   Wikipedia says of her (calling the semi...

read more

Web Resources on Maya Angelou and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Posted by on Jul 27, 2013 in Book 5 - Maya Angelou | 0 comments

The best place to look for links, information, biography, photographs, clips of inspirational films, information on very current work is: http://mayaangelou.com/. There is also another interesting site which has some videos of Angelou through different periods. And there is also a Facebook page.

read more

Suggested Further reading

Posted by on Jul 27, 2013 in Book 5 - Maya Angelou | 0 comments

If you have enjoyed this book you might well enjoy the rest of Maya Angelou’s work which includes the semi fictionalised autobiography series, each of which takes her own life story as its basis and sees her growing up, negotiating her family, becoming an actress in the first black musical which toured the world, Porgy and Bess, having various relationships, moving and questioning issues about identity, gender, and power, race and gender.  The style is always accessible, as if she were talking to you, but the semi-fictionalised...

read more

Discussion Questions

Posted by on Jul 27, 2013 in Book 5 - Maya Angelou | 2 comments

In many ways this is a bleak book which covers a period notable for the Ku Klux Klan’s constant terrifying presence, poverty, racism and sexism, so it could be easy to see why the motif of a caged bird is used to suggest restraint and the prevention of development, but the title also indicates freedom and expression – the caged bird sings – what elements of it suggest freedom, expression and self worth to you? How do you feel the strength of women in the novel is dealt with? How important, and problematic are family relationships...

read more