Posts Tagged Maya Angelou

Women’s History Month: Great memoirs, biographies, and autobiographies

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Women’s History Month: Focus on authors Louisa May Alcott and Maya Angelou


Louisa May Alcott [1832-1888]

–Alcott is best known for penning Little Women in two parts: 1868 and 1869—a childhood favorite about the March sisters [based on Alcott’s own family] and their struggles and triumphs living independently and making their own way in the world during the Civil war, while living in the North in a middle-class household [Alcott grew up in Concord, Mass.].

–Alcott worked as a nurse in Washington during the Civil War but contracted typhoid fever and almost died. The book Hospital Sketches [1863] chronicles this experience.

–early works including rather racy [for their time] novels and short stories.

–Alcott also spent time at the New England Woman’s club and joined the Suffrage Movement.

If in Concord, Mass. do visit Orchard House [Louisa’s childhood home]. I used to go and play old-fashioned games during the summer.

Maya Angelou [1928- ]

–Angelou grew up in poverty-stricken Stamps, Ark.

–At age seven, her mother’s boyfriend raped her and she remained mute for five years.

–In 1970, her autobiographical and much celebrated I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings got published.

–Since then, Angelou has released many autobiographical books, plays and volumes of poetry [Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water Before I Die, And Shall I Rise, I Shall Not Be Moved].

–In 1993 she spoke at the presidential inauguration of fellow Arkansan Bill Clinton.

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