Marguerite Annie Johnson, AKA Maya Angelou, was an American poet. She was also a memoirist and a civil rights activist. Though she has published many books, essays, and poetry books, she is best known for her series of seven autobiographies. These are based on her childhood and adult experiences.
She has been honored with dozens of awards and about fifty honorary degrees. After her first book, she received international recognition and acclaim, ‘I know why the caged birds sing.’ It is a delight to read her books. Here goes the list of her best books.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
“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.
It is the author’s debut memoir. This book is both joyful and painful, memorable and mysterious. The book talks about the longing of children. It is full of magical words that will melt your heart. The author and her brother were sent away by her mother. They lived with their grandmother. But, deep inside, she felt the pain of abandonment and also the prejudice of “Po white trash.” Later in her life, she learned to love herself and be humble and kind.
The Complete Poetry
“I feared if I let you go
You would leave me eternally.
You smiled at my fears, saying
I could not stay in your lap forever.”
The beauty and magic of the author’s words are ebbed in her poetry, especially her inaugural poem “On the Pulse of Morning.” Maya has inspired so many people in the world with her words of love and wisdom. And now, she has released a collection of poetries that will touch your hearts.
Letter to My Daughter
A book by Maya Angelou is dedicated to her daughter. She never had a daughter, but she always felt she was around. The book is a collection of stories that are full of wisdom and inspiration. In each remarkable essay, she has talked about the tumultuous life that led her to America. The things that taught her the lessons of fortitude and compassion. She has also written about her grandmother. It is a remarkable book and a must-read for everyone.
And Still I Rise (Unabridged Selections): A Book of Poems
The book starts with the poetry “Phenomenal women.”
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
An amazing collection of poetry, the author lent the name to a documentary based on her life. Her poetry is very fresh, powerful, and different. They are filled with the emotions of love and remembering.
Mom & Me & Mom
It is a beautifully written memoir about the author and the bond she shares with her mother. She reveals her struggles and victories of being a daughter of a woman who was mostly absent during her childhood. When her parents’ marriage started to crumble, she and her brother were sent away to live with their grandmother. But when they reunited with their mother after a decade. She has then talked about the balance of love and respect that shifted between them.
Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now
It shares some secrets of spirituality that will shape your life. She says, “I’m taken aback when people walk up to me and tell me they are Christians. My first response is the question ‘Already?’ It seems to be a lifelong endeavor to try to live the life of a Christian. It is in the search itself that one finds ecstasy.” She also says that “Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the care which will not withdraw from us. A day away acts as a spring tonic. It can dispel rancour, transform indecision, and renew the spirit.”
Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem
People of all faiths can relate to it and enjoy it. By way of this poem, she encourages the readers to embrace and execute the peace and promise of Christmas. This is very important so that the life of people can be filled with hope and love. She writes, “and speaks the word aloud. Peace.”
Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women
These poems of Maya are celebrated, and her magical words have touched many hearts and inspired many people. You must try your hands on this book to feel her words and explore a new realm.