Reading Backwards

Book reviews by your favorite Git.

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

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By Maya Angelou
This woman deserves your money:
Rating: Enjoyeable.
Read: Junior year, 2002-2003

I have to say it was fairly enjoyable. I’m always suspicious of much-revered works and authors, but I always go in with an open mind, because, afterall, there must be some merit to be found.

Her life is interesting, and never dull. Her insights and observations keep one reading. There is enough unashamed honesty to really make me like her, and the moments of horror offset those of bravery. Best of all, she neither wallows in her oppression as a Black woman, nor does she rampantly crusade against it. I have to say, I FAR prefer her to subservient Janie whatshername in Their Eyes Were Watching God. She also doesn’t turn to God and all He does blahblah.

Wise Words:

To be left alone on the tightropes of youthful unknowing is to experience the excruciating beauty of full freedom and the threat of eternal indecision. Few, if any, survive their teens. Most surrender to the vague but murderous pressure of adult conformity. It becomes easier to die and avoid conflicts than to maintain a constant battle with the superior forces of maturity.

Until recently each generation found it more expedient to plead guilty to the charge of being young and ignorant, easier to take the punishment meted out by the older generation (which has itself confessed to the same crime short years before). The command to grow up at once was more bearable than the faceless horror of wavering purpose, which was youth.

According to, it’s the first of a five-part autobiography, which explains why the end seemed rather abrupt. Good filler reading.In retrospect, I find that I really liked it. I’ll pick up the others if and when.


Written by Shen

March 26, 2005 at 12:45 am

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