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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by  Maya Angelou - First Edition - 1969 - from B & B Rare Books, Ltd., ABAA (SKU: MA003)

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

by Angelou, Maya

  • Used
  • near fine
  • hardcover
  • First
Near Fine/Dust Jacket Included
Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
New York, New York
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About This Item

New York: Random House, 1969 First edition, first printing. Original publisher's cloth, pictorial dust jacket. About fine in an unclipped dust jacket with a slight waviness to the front cover and the slightest touch of rubbing to the extremities, else fine. An exceptionally bright and attractive copy. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is Maya Angelou's first autobiographical work. Although it is a work of non-fiction, the text borrows literary devices from fiction, making the narrative lyrical and reminiscent of the author's vivid poetry. Angelou took the title from a poem by African American poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar, who, along with William Shakespeare, was one of the author's biggest creative inspirations. The image of a caged bird singing is evocative of young Angelou's struggle to find her voice, which, encouraged by her love of literature and strong principled character, allowed her to combat the racism and misogyny she encountered as a child. Though it was not her original intention, Angelou wrote six subsequent texts that, together with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, comprise Angelou's complete autobiography. This volume is the first chronologically, covering Angelou's childhood through her early teenage years, during which time she endures the Great Depression and Jim Crow Segregation.. First Edition. Hard Cover. Near Fine/Dust Jacket Included.


Titled after a stanza from Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem “Sympathy,” I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is the first of a series of seven autobiographical novels by African-American poet and writer Maya Angelou. Personally deeply involved and affected by the civil rights movement, the volume explores racism and identity in her early life.   I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was nominated for the National Book Award in 1970. However, due to its depiction of controversial subjects such as sexuality, lesbianism and rape, the use of the novel in classrooms has been frequently challenged.

Read more: Identifying first editions of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings


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B & B Rare Books, Ltd., ABAA US (US)
Bookseller Inventory #
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Angelou, Maya
Book condition
Used - Near Fine
Jacket condition
Dust Jacket Included
First Edition
New York: Random House
Date published
Bookseller catalogs
20th Century Literature; Modern Firsts; American Literature; Fiction; Women's Literature; African American;

Terms of Sale

B & B Rare Books, Ltd., ABAA

~ All items are guaranteed as described. We recommend requesting pictures prior to purchasing. ~ Any items may be returned within seven days of receipt and in the same condition as originally sent. ~ We ship with FedEx, UPS and USPS. Please let us know if you prefer another shipping. ~ New York State are required to add 8.875% sales tax.

About the Seller

B & B Rare Books, Ltd., ABAA

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers. member since: 2006
New York, New York
Ask Seller a Question

About B & B Rare Books, Ltd., ABAA

Selling First Editions and Rare Books from all centuries. Specializing in 19th and 20th century literature, modern first editions, signed and inscribed books, early children's literature, and poetry.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

Sometimes used as another term for dust jacket, a protective and often decorative wrapper, usually made of paper which wraps...[more]
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the...[more]
"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched...[more]
Abrasion or wear to the surface. Usually used in reference to a book's boards or dust-jacket.
First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in...[more]

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