Wouldn't Take Nothing For My Journey Now

Wouldn't Take Nothing For My Journey Now

by Maya Angelou
Publisher: Bantam Books
Mass market paperback, 139 pages
Current Retail Price: $6.99
Not in stock

This slim volume of essays—on everything from womanhood to virtue to brutality—is more a collection of reflective prose poems than investigative writing. There is no cohesive narrative, no obvious thematic gradation, not even a lot of autobiography. It's a bit like a cross between Orwell and Annie Dillard, at once thoughtful and spiritual, practical and aesthetic. Some of Angelou's ideas are surprising, as when she asserts that content is important but not necessarily more important than style, or when she posits that our society views most morality as immoral.

Maya Angelou lived through the civil rights movement, experienced extreme poverty and homelessness, was a single mother, and as a child was raped and abused by her mother's boyfriend, a trauma that left her unable to speak for nearly five years. Later she wrote the hugely successful I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, a memoir of her early years, and the most profound reclaiming of her voice. Her troubled background and rise from fear and poverty gave her insight and wisdom that is both foreign and relatable, which she expresses elegantly through her beautiful, plain prose.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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Summary: Brief essays from a black woman poet who lived through the Civil Rights movement and contributes original thoughts to otherwise tired debates.

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