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Maya Angelou

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

1 Jan, 1969

Anglou’s first autobiographical work is published by Random House. The text covers details of her early life from age three to sixteen. Angelou writes in the first person about her memories of growing up in Stamps, Arkansas and then in California. She tells George Plimpton of the Paris Review:

I thought I was going to write Caged Bird and that would be it and I would go back to playwriting and writing scripts for television. Autobiography is awfully seductive; it’s wonderful. Once I got into it I realized I was following a tradition established by Frederick Douglass—the slave narrative—speaking in the first-person singular talking about the first-person plural, always saying I meaning we.