By Delaney Chase
If you are anything like me, you may not find nonfiction works nearly as interesting as fiction ones. However, with “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” the case is completely different. The autobiography tells the interesting and difficult life of the author, Maya Angelou.
As a young black girl in southern Arkansa, Angelou experienced segregation and racism first hand, and she gives many detail accounts of her experiences in the book, such as the time when the only local dentist refused to see her because of her color. The book follows her from the age of three to the age of seventeen, including when she was sexualy abused and raped at the age of eight.
When I first started the book I had a hard time getting into it. The book jumps around a lot with different stories and time periods. But, once the author gives all the background information and settles in one spot the story continues fluidly from there.
The book may be nonfiction but the writing is still very toned down and relatable. Angelou writes in a sophisticated and advanced way but still uses slang and slightly improper sentences to convey the setting of the story.
As much as I liked the book, there is no clear problem that builds and builds. It is simply a book of small anecdotes that are all still somewhat connected. The book also rushed to an ending that is very somewhat unsatisfying to my preference, but with this being said Angelou tells the truthful and hard story that was her childhood.
I would highly recommend this book. Though it was slightly confusing, the lessons learned from the experiences of the author outweigh it all. From this book I’ve learned what perseverance, strength, and determination really are by the way she faced challenges head on and never gave up.