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This book presents the extraordinary life and writings of Maya Angelou. It examines the changing viewpoints in her six autobiographies within the context of women's and African American autobiographies, with specific reference to the slave narrative and to contemporary fiction and film. * 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