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In this first of five volumes of autobiography, poet Maya Angelou recounts a youth filled with disappointment,
frustration, tragedy, and finally hard-won independence. Sent at a young age to live with her grandmother in Arkansas,
Angelou learned a great deal from this exceptional woman and the tightly knit black community there. These very lessons
carried her throughout the hardships she endured later in life, including a tragic occurrence while visiting her mother
in St. Louis and her formative years spent in California--where an unwanted pregnancy changed her life forever.
Marvelously told, with Angelou's "gift for language and observation," this "remarkable autobiography by an equally
remarkable black woman from Arkansas captures, indelibly, a world of which most Americans are shamefully ignorant."