Is it possible to be a fan of someone, if you haven’t even read anything by them, except poems here and there? That is the case with Maya Angelou and I. Having heard her speak much before having the chance to read any of her full length works, I totally fell in love with this tall, beautiful woman, whose voice can lull you into a hypnotic state of optimism. I first heard Maya Angelou speak on some talk show and then on Oprah. Later I read some of her poems are was positive that no matter what, I would like her. In early 2005 I got a chance to see her, in person, speak at Georgia State University. That sealed the deal. When I could not attend her speech at U of H, Rajith listened to my complaints and got me a copy of this book.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is a simple read which spans a little more than ten years in Angelou’s life. It moves between Arkansas and California – as the children, Maya and her brother Bailey, take turns living with their grandmother and their parents. Poverty, racial inequality, educational struggles, and sexual trauma, all leave this strong woman unscathed as she describes her magical life to us. Sprinkeld with humor and touched by innocence, there is nothing in this book that will not affect you. It is a simple story, different from what you and I might have gone through, and yet, easy to identify with.
Now, it’s easier to say why I am a fan of Maya Angelou.