Gather Together in My Name

Gather Together in My Name

Book - 1974
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In this second volume of her poignant autobiographical series, Maya Angelou powerfully captures the struggles and triumphs of her passionate life with dignity, wisdom, humor, and humanity.

"A curiously heartening story in which decency, honor, truth, love do exist, imperfectly, fractionally and flickeringly, not in some Platonic realm of the ideal, but in the flawed lives of real men and women." --The Washington Post

Gather Together in My Name continues Maya Angelou's personal story, begun so unforgettably in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings . The time is the end of World War II and there is a sense of optimism everywhere. Maya Angelou, still in her teens, has given birth to a son. But the next few years are difficult ones as she tries to find a place in the world for herself and her child. She goes from job to job-and from man to man. She tries to return home-back to Stamps, Arkansas-but discovers that she is no longer part of that world. Then Maya's life takes a dramatic turn, and she faces new challenges and temptations.
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, 1974.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780394486925
Branch Call Number: 818.5409 An435A
Characteristics: 214 pages ; 21 cm


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Mar 23, 2021

Maya Angelou’s second autobiography was no less page-turning than her first, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. Like a sequel, the story follows Angelou’s life after the first book, however it does not necessarily build off of the information of the first, so you could read this book before/without the first. Beginning after her son’s birth, the book follows the next chapters of her life (literally) as she learns to navigate life. From her experiences with drugs to job opportunities to men, Angelou tells her story with wisdom and an air of meaningful remembrance. I appreciate Angelou’s storytelling and her manner of ‘switching themes’: in her first autobiography, Angelou loses her innocence, but in this novel she maintains the innocence she still has. Though a slightly heavy read, this book did not fail to intrigue me. I recommend this book to those interested in history, gaining perspective from another person’s life, and reading the wise words of Maya Angelou.

Oct 27, 2020

I must agree with another poster, that this book gave me a view of Maya that was not admirable. As a teenage mother, she made mostly poor choices career wise, and relationship wise. She was a madam of a lesbian brothel at one point. Okay, what bothers me most is she is condescending, and haughty to the women whom support her with their sex work! Maya is fine with living off their money and purchasing a green convertible to drive around in style with her son. Maya does become a prostitute at one point for a sweet talking man who has her tricking for field workers who do not speak English. Maya is proud of the fact she is able to speak some Spanish to her tricks, but she is not a successful sex worker. Maya is truthful in this book, I give her points for honesty.

thart Oct 19, 2011

(Read 5/2009). The second book in her autobiographical series (2 of 6). This book is set in her teen years after she had her son (at age 16). It was a bit of a shocker to discover via reading this book that she was at some point in her life the madame of a brothel, a prostitute in a brothel, and moved around more times in 3 years than I have probably in my entire life, and I have lived in 3 different states. It is the most off-putting in the series; but, if you hang on for number three you will not be disappointed because it is a much more fluid and interesting read, and has more of her reflections on life that I personally love and adore.


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