Maya Angelou: The Iconic Self examines this iconic artist’s work as an autobiographer, offering an up-to-date assessment of Angelou’s contributions to American literature and to American and international culture. This is the only book to interpret Angelou’s autobiographies as unique experiments in the history of black narrative. It attests to Angelou’s creativity in transforming the typical single-volume autobiography into a six-volume personal and cultural adventure that tells the truth but reads like fiction.
The narratives cover the years from the Great Depression (1941) to the days following the assassinations of Malcolm X (1965) and Martin Luther King (1968), emphasizing Angelou’s roles as mother, daughter, granddaughter, wife, and friend. This revised edition also presents information about Maya Angelou’s funeral and her continuing legacy since her death in 2014. The depth and scope of the book’s observations regarding Angelou’s autobiographies will be of great interest to readers seeking an analysis of the interconnections among Angelou’s writings as well as serve students taking courses in women’s studies or black culture studies.
- Examines each of Maya Angelou's six autobiographies, enabling readers to understand what growing up black and female in the United States was like
- Traces the development of black autobiography from its roots in the slave narrative to its presence in contemporary fiction and film
- Highlights the exclusive 1997 interview between Maya Angelou and the author
- Examines Maya Angelou's achievements as a poet
- Discusses all of Angelou's autobiographies regarding their settings, themes, plot development, and other narrative techniques
- Offers an alternate reading for each autobiography