Yes, Maya Angelou was indeed a phenomenal woman. We are reminded of this throughout all her biographies where she exposes herself to us through her religious beliefs, her politics, her struggles to find success, her love for the arts, her son and her family. In this third installment of her seven autobiographies, readers are introduced to Maya, the singer, dancer, and all round performer. We learn how her name came to be (Maya from her brother and Angelou a derivative from her married name, Angelos). Hence Maya Angelou was born.
She had me cheering for her throughout the book especially when she walked through her marital woes, showing her son how to be a good boy, and trying out for parts in clubs and on Broadway to make ends meet. When she got her big break to go on tour with Porgy and Bess, she transported me to many places (Egypt, Italy, Yugoslavia, Paris, etc.). Her descriptions of the people, the sights, the sounds and the smells were very vivid and I could imagine myself walking the streets alongside her.
I took a front row seat when she performed either dancing or singing Calypso songs in the night clubs (the Casbah, the Purple Onion, the Mars Club, etc.). She had me laughing out loud because of her brash conversations with the other showgirls, the musicians, and some of her suitors. Who can forget the unrequited love from men like Mr. Julian in Yugoslavia crying out, “It’s that I’m loving you. It’s that I am dying because of you. It’s that I’m falling in front of a train.”
Rating: 5 stars