Wednesday, May 28, 2014, the world lost a writer, poet, and friend. At the age of 86, Maya Angelou passed away. Though she is no longer with us, her collection of books remains. Her books celebrate the struggle and triumph of humanity. Many of her books are autobiographies of specific moments in her life. These situations taught her important lessons. If you never had a chance to meet her and speak with her, you can learn who she is as a person from the books she has published throughout her life. Many of the books listed here are eloquently written autobiographies. They are small pieces from a triumphant life. Some people considered writing autobiographies about their life and have them published when they pass. They are worried about how the world will perceive them. Maya
Angelou was brave enough to put those worries aside and publish those truths.
Image via Facebook from Maya Angelou
[ New Page=10. His Day is Done: A Nelson Mandela Tribute ]
10. His Day is Done: A Nelson Mandela Tribute
This book is a tribute to the late Nelson Mandela. Many familiar with his story know that he was wrongfully imprisoned for over twenty years. Instead of retaliating, he showed tolerance and forgiveness. Though many would have excused his behavior, he did not give into temptation. In essence, the book celebrates his ability to forgive and turn the other cheek.
[ New Page=9. All Gods Children Need Traveling Shoes ]
9. All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes
Moving to Ghana with her son was not an easy transition for her. Though she is a black woman, she is not Ghanaian. During her time in Africa, she felt the sting of this truth. Initially, the situation sounds negative, but Maya Angelou makes a positive out of a negative.
[ New Page=8. Gather Together in My Name ]
8. Gather Together in My Name
Life is not perfect. It is full of good and bad moments. You shouldn’t let the bad out way the good. In this book, you can feel her joy lift off the pages. Her humorous reminds us to take a step back from life and enjoy it. You cannot live in a world of negativity, because your thoughts become your reality.
[ New Page=7. And Still I Rise ]
7. And Still I Rise
At this point in her career, she had three successful autobiographies and two volumes of poetry. At this point she was well known and respected American writer. These series of poems focuses on overcoming adversity.
[ New Page=6. Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women ]
6. Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women
As the title implies, the book is a collection of her most loved poems for women. It celebrates women of all shapes and personalities.
[ New Page=5. The Heart of a Woman ]
5.The Heart of a Woman
This is the fourth autobiography that she published in 2009. This book is more intimate than the others because it covers a controversial time in her life. Maya Angelou was an active participant in the Civil Rights movement. She goes to New York City with her teenage son. This is where her love of writing is rejuvenated and her love life takes an unexpected turn.
[ New Page=4. Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey ]
4. Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey
Maya Angelou wrote a collection of short essays. This book is geared towards young adults, but other age groups are welcome to read it. Most of the essays are only a few pages. Each covers different topics. The main point of it all is joy and tolerance.
[ New Page=3. Letter to My Daughter ]
3. Letter to My Daughter
Though she did not have a daughter, Maya Angelou wrote this series of essays for the daughters of the world. These essays cover different time periods in her youth. Her honesty and genuine desire to guide young woman is evident.
[ New Page=2. Mom & Me & Mom ]
2. Mom & Me & Mom
People who have felt abandoned by their parents will relate to this book. When her mother sent her to Arkansas, the move affected her in a negative way. At the time, she was only a toddler. This book highlights the resentment and hurt she had for her mother, as well as, the reconciliation.
[ New Page=1. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings ]
1. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
At a young age, Maya Angelou moved to Arkansas to live with her grandmother. While she was here, the black women of the community armed her with important lessons. As she faced trials and tribulations in her life, she thought back to those women. Maya Angelou is very vulnerable in this book.