I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is the first of seven memoirs that Maya Angelou wrote. This book tells of her life from childhood to the age of seventeen - the years 1928 to 1945. The story is a harsh and sad one, dealing with poverty, racism, abandonment, rape, sexual abuse, and teenage pregnancy. It is inspirational not in its writing but in the fact that Maya Angelou had courage to live this life, to move forward from the events described, and to tell the story in such a public way.
I really can't imagine that I would have cared much for the art of Basquiat if the editor hadn't done such a fabulous job of pairing the words with the pictures. The result feels like a close collaboration, rather than an after-the-fact pairing. Nice back matter, for those who care, too.
And a shout-out to my local librarians who always find new books to tempt me with in their displays, even when I'm in bit of a reading slump.