She gained immediate acclaim in 1969 with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings about her childhood and teen years. Not afraid to discuss her personal life, her seven autobiographies, including Gather Together in My Name, Singin’ and Swingin’ and Getting’ Merry Like Christmas and The Heart of a Woman covered the years to 1968. Her last autobiography Mom & Me & Mom was a look at her whole life. The books do not need to be read in order to be enjoyed, but readers might like the continuity.
One of life’s delights is to hear Maya Angelou recite her own poetry, which you can on the CD Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Die. Her most familiar poem might be On the Pulse of Morning, which she recited at President Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration.