Maya Angelou

The Heart of a Woman

By Biography | Random House Audio

Published October 5, 2000 7:42PM (EDT)

Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Johnson, is internationally respected as a poet, writer and educator. She is the author of the best-selling titles I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Gather Together in My Name, Singin' and Swingin' and The Heart of a Woman. In addition, she was the first black woman to have an original screenplay produced, has had her composed music recorded by artists such as. B.B. King, has twice been nominated for an Emmy Award and is fluent in French, Spanish, Italian, and West African Fanti. Ms. Angelou's accomplishments have earned her the La Home Journal Woman of the Year award, the Matrix Award from Women in Communication and the Golden Eagle Award for her documentary, Americans in the Arts.

In The Heart of a Woman Maya Angelou leaves California with her son, Guy, to go to New York. There she enters a society and world of black artists and writers. Not since her childhood has she lived in an almost exclusively black environment, and she is surprised at her new friends' reaction to the white world around them. She begins to read her writing at the Harlem Writers Guild, continues to sing, and increasingly takes a part in the struggle of the Civil Rights Movement while her personal life takes tempestuous twists and turns.

The Heart of a Woman is filled with unforgettable vignettes of everyone from Billie Holiday to Malcolm X, but perhaps most importantly, this book chronicles Ms. Angelou's relationship with her son. The Heart of a Woman tracks the joys and the burdens of a black mother in America and how the son she had cherished so intensely and worked for so devotedly, finally grows to be a man. Listen to an excerpt from the Random House Audio Books release of The Heart of a Woman, read by the author.

Biography | Random House Audio

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Civil Rights Movement Motherhood