Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. Her first autobiography, 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings', brought her international recognition and acclaim.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

    This memoir recounts the early years of an African-American girl's life, focusing on her experiences with racism and trauma in the South during the 1930s. Despite the hardships she faces, including sexual abuse, she learns to rise above her circumstances through strength of character and a love of literature. Her journey from victim to survivor and her transformation into a young woman who respects herself is a testament to the human capacity to overcome adversity.

    The 192nd Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. Singin’ Swingin’ And Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas

    This book is an autobiographical work that continues the journey of a young African American woman as she navigates the complexities of life, love, and career during the mid-20th century. With her characteristic lyrical prose, the author recounts her experiences in show business, her travels abroad, and her deepening understanding of herself and the world around her. As she moves through a series of personal and professional highs and lows, she remains resilient, using her talents in singing and dancing to carve out a place for herself and to connect with others across racial and cultural divides. Her story is one of growth, self-discovery, and the joyous celebration of life, even in the face of adversity.

    The 4482nd Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. The Heart Of A Woman

    The book is an autobiographical account that delves into the life of an African American woman navigating the complexities of her existence during the civil rights era. It explores her journey through personal growth, motherhood, and activism, as she moves from California to New York City, and eventually to Ghana. Along the way, she encounters notable historical figures and immerses herself in the struggle for racial equality, all while striving to find her own voice and identity. The narrative is a poignant reflection on love, resilience, and the enduring spirit of a woman determined to claim her place in a turbulent world.

    The 4704th Greatest Book of All Time