Gather Together in My Name

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Overview

In Gather Together in My Name Maya Angelou continues her stunning autobiography. By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, passionate and mellow, she fills the pages with both wisdom and wonder as she brings us along in her struggle and dance through life.
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Gather Together in My Name

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Overview

In Gather Together in My Name Maya Angelou continues her stunning autobiography. By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, passionate and mellow, she fills the pages with both wisdom and wonder as she brings us along in her struggle and dance through life.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Chicago Tribune
"The book is a gem. It presents a descriptive picture of the texture of the lives and times of many black people in the late '40s before the dawn of civil rights."
The New Yorker
"Miss Angelou tells the story of this dauntless, reckless, foolish girl with few flourishes; it doesn't need them."
New Times Book Review
"Maya Angelou's second book about her life as a young black woman in America is engrossing and vital, rich and funny and wise...Maya Angelou writes like a song, and like the truth."
From the Publisher
“Engrossing and vital, rich and funny and wise . . . Angelou writes like a song, and like the truth.”
–The New York Times Book Review

“A curiously heartening story in which decency, honor, truth, love do exist, imperfectly, fractionally and flickeringly, not in some Platonic realm of the ideal, but in the flawed lives of real men and women.”
–The Washington Post

“The book is a gem. It presents a descriptive picture of the texture of the lives and times of many black people in the late forties before the dawn of civil rights. It is so insightful and funny-sad, you catch yourself remembering your own young adulthood.”
–Chicago Tribune

“Rich, engaging . . . Angelou tells the story of this dauntless, reckless, foolish girl with few flourishes; it doesn’t need them.”
–The New Yorker

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553251593
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/26/1975
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback

Meet the Author

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou was raised in Stamps, Arkansas. In addition to her bestselling autobiographies, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and The Heart of a Woman, she wrote numerous volumes of poetry, among them Phenomenal Woman, And Still I Rise, On the Pulse of Morning, and Mother. Maya Angelou died in 2014.

Biography

As a chronicler of her own story and the larger civil rights movement in which she took part, Maya Angelou is remarkable in equal measure for her lyrical gifts as well as her distinct sense of justice, both politically and personally.

Angelou was among the first, if not the first, to create a literary franchise based on autobiographical writings. In the series' six titles -- beginning with the classic I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and followed by Gather Together in My Name, Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas, Heart of a Woman, All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes, and 2002's A Song Flung Up to Heaven -- Angelou tells her story in language both no-nonsense and intensely spiritual.

Angelou's facility with language, both on paper and as a suede-voiced speaker, have made her a populist poet. Her 1995 poem "Phenomenal Woman" is still passed along the Web among women as inspiration ("It's in the reach of my arms/The span of my hips/The stride of my steps/The curl of my lips./I'm a woman/Phenomenally/Phenomenal woman/That's me"), and her 1993 poem "On the Pulse of the Morning," written for Bill Clinton's presidential inauguration, was later released as a Grammy-winning album.

Angelou often cites other writers (from Kenzaburo Oe to James Baldwin) both in text and name. But as often as not, her major mentors were not writers – she had been set to work with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. before each was assassinated, stories she recounts in A Song Flung Up to Heaven.

Given her rollercoaster existence -- from poverty in Arkansas to journalism in Egypt and Ghana and ultimately, to her destiny as a successful writer and professor in the States – it's no surprise that Angelou hasn't limited herself to one or two genres. Angelou has also written for stage and screen, acted, and directed. She is the rare author from whom inspiration can be derived both from her approach to life as from her talent in writing about it. Reading her books is like taking counsel from your wisest, favorite aunt.

Good To Know

Angelou was nominated for an Emmy for her performance as Nyo Boto in the 1977 miniseries Roots. She has also appeared in films such as How to Make an American Quilt and Poetic Justice, and she directed 1998's Down in the Delta.

Angelou speaks six languages, including West African Fanti.

She taught modern dance at the Rome Opera House and the Hambina Theatre in Tel Aviv.

Before she became famous as a writer, Maya Angelou was a singer. Miss Calypso is a CD of her singing calypso songs.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Margeurite Johnson
      Maya Angelou
    2. Hometown:
      Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 4, 1928
    2. Place of Birth:
      St. Louis, Missouri
    1. Education:
      High school in Atlanta and San Francisco

Table of Contents

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Reading Group Guide

1. Rita's nonconformity is both a blessing and a curse. How do you think it hurts her--and helps her?

2. What does Rita learn about the stability of human relationships? Does she tend to trust others, or is she suspicious?

3. When Rita is thrown into the adult world, her innocence dies. When and how is her innocence reborn?

4. Rita has a series of unsuccessful relationships with men. She supposes that men leave her because they don't think she needs them badly enough. What about her might make men think this? Do you believe that she truly wanted the relationships; why or why not?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 27 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2007

    An Outstanding book

    Gather Together In My Name is a beautifully written autobiography about Maya Angelou¿s younger years. To be honest, I am not the type of person that likes read, but this book had me hooked and I strongly recommend it to all female teenagers in high school. The book will help others to see a different perspective in life that a young sixteen year old mother faced during her time. I believe that this book also help young women observe how easy it is to simply be used by a man. Gather Together In My Name helps demonstrates what it¿s like to start off with nothing and again end with nothing within a three years period of time. This book will have a strong effect on my life and many others who wish to read it. Throughout the book, Maya writes in a perspective of a sixteen year old youthful mother that journeys in America looking for employment to support her baby son, Guy. While living in San Francisco, she received her first job ever as being a bust girl which she hated very much and decides to quit without even a week into the job. Before her job as being a bust girl she desperately wanted to be a well paid operator but when it was time for the interview a racially prejudiced white lady made her take a test that didn¿t even apply to the job. Maya knew she had past it because it was a test anybody could pass, but the lady basically tells her that the job wasn¿t cut out for her. The second job that Maya receives in San Francisco was given to her by simply lying. While sitting in a Creole café a woman came up to her asking if she can cook Creole and she said ¿Yes, of course, that¿s all I know how to cook.¿ Right then and there Maya was automatically hired on the spot. Maya didn¿t know a thing about Creole but the cooking job paid seventy-five dollars a week with cooking privileges included. So therefore she went to Papa Ford seeking for advice and he explained to her that Creole wasn¿t different from any other food that she makes. ¿Just add garlic, onion, and green pepper then you got yourself Creole food.¿ While Maya looks forward to her cooking career that she loves so much at the Creole café¿ she starts to take interest of a customer that visits on the regular basis, who goes by the name Curly. When Maya first sees Curly waling into the café she describes him as one of God¿s prettiest men. Curly has dark brown skin and a voice that makes Maya jittery she loathed his leaving and couldn¿t bear waiting for his return. Curly is a bit older than Maya (thirty one to be exact) and was very understanding of Maya¿s situation with her having baby when they started dating. Curly feels that Maya¿s babies daddy ought¿ to have his tail beaten for running out on a child and a young mother. With that statement said Maya immediately began to fall in love with him. While in a relationship with Curly Maya begins to feel mature and learns to be pleased with her body because of the pleasure it gave to her from Curly. Maya feels as if Curly is the perfect man for her until he confessed that he had a girlfriend he was soon to marry and that he would also be leaving town with in a couple of days. As a few years pass working from job to job Maya finds herself becoming a prostitute for a man that she thought she had loved. His birth name was Louis David Tolbrook but went by L.D. With this man being old enough to be her father Maya feels that L.D resembles her papa Ford in a way. In the beginning of their relationship L.D seems like a respectful and well established man that knows how to treat a woman right. It turns out that he was nothing but a pimp and a Gambler that owned women all over town. While dating Maya didn¿t recognize his identity of being a pimp when L.D suggested that she should wear school girl clothing and start addressing him with the name ¿Daddy¿. Gather Together in My Name is a powerful autobiography about Maya Angelou¿s young adult life that will have you hooked, and will also help you look at your every day life in a

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    You don't know Maya until you've read this book

    Maya Angelou reveals her teenage experiences as a young mother in search of who she is as an individual. She goes from place to place in search of belonging. Maya's journey is intriguing because it's not all rainbows, it's real and tells of real world obstacles. Maya was a spunky, Independant, and courageous girl and her stories will pull you in. Maya writes with so much personality that I really got involved in her story as if I was apart of her life.

    If you want to know about Maya Angelou or just want a good non-fiction read, I would reccomend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2007

    Gather Together in My Name

    Gather together in my name is an intriguing book. As memoirs do, this tells the ups and downs of this Rite's life. In the beginning we learn that she's a young seventeen-year-old girl with a son. She has a high school diploma, but can't type or do shorthand. She basically has to fend for her self by getting a job wherever she can to support both her and her baby. She seems to have been very depressed. She did let herself be used by a married man. This is really inspiring, however, because she constantly has to overcome many obstacle's to achieve what she wants. The strength in that is enormous. Most people would have just given up. She even loses her son, which is horrible because that baby is what her life revolves around. She transforms from an awkward teenager into a mature young lady throughout the book. I would recommend this to anyone for many different reasons. The first reason is that this book is fairly easy to read. It really is pretty interesting. It is comparable to a fictional story. There are really great descriptions of characters, and of settings, and even of emotions and attitudes. Secondly, the way that Angelou addresses equal rights is quite prevalent. In fact Angelou seems to address Black on Black and lifestyle prejudices more that any other issue. She makes it clear in chapter twelve that Rite does not think the 'n' word is a term of endearment. Backing up into the previous chapter, Rite meets a lesbian couple and is warned to be careful by a co-worker. To show that she doesn't care, she purposely accepts an invitation to their house for lunch. In conclusion, Rite really comes a long way from the beginning of the book to the end of it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2014

    R.I.P.

    REST IN PEACE MS."ANGEL"OU

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2014

    Debbie graham

    It is a good book. Read it sometime

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 20, 2014

    Maya Angelou is intoxicating! She posses the ability to make her

    Maya Angelou is intoxicating! She posses the ability to make her words come alive and the inability to not hold back in her writing. She is an inspiration, in the since that she was a small town girl from Arkansas that transformed into one of the most talented Black women in history. She will take you on a journey through her life, that will leave you wanting more! 

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2012

    Fascinating

    I couldnt put it down she is a brilliant author

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2007

    A reviewer

    This is such a good book even though some of the parts r boring i still like it

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2003

    A Touching Story

    Maya Angelou¿s sequel to, I Know why The caged Bird Sings, tells the story of a young black woman growing up and trying to find her way through life. Gather Together in My Name, is a wonderful story of Maya Angelou¿s life, trials, tribulations, and triumphs. It is a book that all young women should read. This book tells her real life story, not some fairy tale. It is something that we, as women can relate to; Love, lust, money, and all the good and bad things life presents us with. I truly enjoyed this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2002

    a wonderful story

    this is the perfect sequel to i know why the caged bird sings. dr.angelou does an outstanding job of producing a story that crosses the color line. perfect for both teens and adults, (i'm 17). ;D

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2001

    LIFE'S EXPERIENCES

    MAYA ANGELOU'S,GATHER TOGETHER IN MY NAME, IS A BOOK THAT ALL TEENAGE GIRLS SHOULD READ. IN THE BOOK MRS.ANGELOU WRITES OF A 17 YEAR OLD GIRL WITH A CHILD AND NO DIRECTION IN LIFE. MARGUERITE EMBARKS UPON A JOURNEY TO FIND HER 'NICHE' IN LIFE. SHE FACES THE MANY TEMPTATIONS OF LIFE AND ENCOUNTERS MANY PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT THE KIND OF PEOPLE SHE NEEDS. RITE MEETS WHORES AND PIMPS, WHO TO BRING HER INTO THEIR WAY OF LIFE. AT ONE POINT SHE LOSES HER SON, WHO IS HER PRIDE AND JOY. THROUGHOUT THE NOVEL RITE EXPLORES MANY ASPECTS OF ADULTHOOD, SUCH AS LOVE, DECEPTION, SEX, AND SHE REALIZES WHAT IT TRULY IS TO HAVE FAMILY. MARGUERITE TRANSFORMS FROM A YOUNG MISGUIDED TEENAGER INTO A MATURE YOUNG WOMAN.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted May 29, 2011

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    Posted January 24, 2011

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    Posted January 12, 2013

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    Posted April 16, 2011

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    Posted November 28, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2008

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