A Song Flung Up to Heaven

  • by Maya Angelou
  • Narrated by Maya Angelou
  • 4 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The culmination of a unique achievement in modern American literature: the six volumes of autobiography that began more than thirty years ago with the appearance of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
A Song Flung Up to Heaven opens as Maya Angelou returns from Africa to the United States to work with Malcolm X. But first she has to journey to California to be reunited with her mother and brother. No sooner does she arrive there than she learns that Malcolm X has been assassinated.
Devastated, she tries to put her life back together, working on the stage in local theaters and even conducting a door-to-door survey in Watts. Then Watts explodes in violence, a riot she describes firsthand.
Subsequently, on a trip to New York, she meets Martin Luther King, Jr., who asks her to become his coordinator in the North, and she visits black churches all over America to help support King’s Poor People’s March.
But once again tragedy strikes. King is assassinated, and this time Angelou completely withdraws from the world, unable to deal with this horrible event. Finally, James Baldwin forces her out of isolation and insists that she accompany him to a dinner party - where the idea for writing I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is born. In fact, A Song Flung Up to Heaven ends as Maya Angelou begins to write the first sentences of Caged Bird.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


Would you consider the audio edition of A Song Flung Up to Heaven to be better than the print version?

YES! For the main reason that Maya's notable and memorable raspy brogue carries here story. I love her inflections and her attention to her living prose. The audio book, for me was a better way to drink from Maya's illustrious well.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Song Flung Up to Heaven?

For me, it was Maya's struggle to let go of her mothering brain so to speak, when it came to her son Guy. The beauty she learnt in the strength that Guy needed to discover himself without her close input. I was struck by Maya's calm resolve to watch and listen from ringside as her baby fought his own fight and won gloriously. The relationship between her and her son was a classic one shared with candor.

What does Maya Angelou bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Her voice. Her explanations and thought processes along with the rawness of her reality.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

'Renaissance Woman On A Journey-Many Inspired'

Any additional comments?

I loved this instalment of Maya's story. Her devotion to Africa, love, poetry, prose, education, honesty and beautifully honed manner of relating to life. She stuns with high voltage currents on every word. Thank you Dr.Maya Angelou.

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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-05-2012
  • Publisher: Random House Audio