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  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Abridged)

  • Written by: Maya Angelou
  • Narrated by: Maya Angelou
  • Length: 3 hrs
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)
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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Abridged) cover art

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Abridged)

Written by: Maya Angelou
Narrated by: Maya Angelou
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Publisher's Summary

Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide. Her life story is told in the documentary film And Still I Rise, as seen on PBS’s American Masters.

Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide.

Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.

Poetic and powerful, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people listen.

©1970 Maya Angelou (P)1996 Random House Audio, Inc.

What the critics say

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings liberates the reader into life simply because Maya Angelou confronts her own life with such a moving wonder, such a luminous dignity.”—James Baldwin

What listeners say about I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Abridged)

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Love it even more

I’ve read this book twice before but listening to it was an even better experience!

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Elton
  • 2005-12-17

Almost Gripping

This is not an unabridged version. Having a different narrator bridge portions of the book was a little wierd. There are breaks in the editing that are a bit strange. Angelou has a wonderful voice for this genre, but she seems to rush when you want her to slow down. Her singing voice almost had me singing along with her. This is a beautiful book in its original printed version, but the audio version is lacking something.

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12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Drew
  • 2006-03-30

fair

The author does an excellent job reading the story. However, the book has been shortened to the point that it is more or less a trailer. Poor job on the publishing/editing end. Too short.

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11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • coffee8
  • 2018-02-18

Beautiful but too short

I didn’t see it was the abridged version and I paid full price for it.

As fare as the story goes it is captivating and honorable. Ms. Angelou reading it made me feel like I was experiencing it with her. She was a mountain of a woman and left the world a better place.

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2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kelli
  • 2011-12-02

This is not the entire book

What would have made I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings better?

I love this book and own it but this audio version, is missing a ton of the book and does me no good. I will request a refund for the audio book as I need the full text of the book by audio. I am bothered by the fact that it was sold without disclosing this information. Huge waste of my time.

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1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Antonio Giger
  • 2023-12-30

The innocence and perseverance of this woman

I love hearing her tell her story in her own voice it brought it home even more for me.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lover of history
  • 2023-04-12

Please have someone else narrate this book.

I finished the 3hrs of the abridged version, I wish I could listen to the last 7 hrs of the unabridged, but I can't bear to listen to another word of Maya as the narrator.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Samantha Curtis
  • 2021-09-16

First Read

I wasn't sure if the story had truly ended or not. but overall it was a very well written story.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2021-02-27

Amazing Audiobook! I really enjoyed it.

This story was amazing and even more interesting having it told by the author herself.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Darren Sapp
  • 2019-03-16

Raw & Real

Even that much the material is raw and gritty, Angelou delivers the gold standard in memoir, storytelling, and writing.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-10-01

tragic story heartfelt sad yet probably realistic

the narration was somewhat monatone, yet the author was able to give it a good performance. very sad situations, real.

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