Six BBC Radio 4 dramatisations of Maya Angelou’s evocative, extraordinary memoirs, starring Adjoa Andoh and Pippa Bennett-Warner
The books that make up the life and times of Maya Angelou are among the most beautiful and haunting pieces of an autobiography ever written. Joyous, direct and searingly honest, they run the gamut from life-affirming to tragic, and back again.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings charts Maya’s childhood in the Deep South in the 1930s; while Gather Together In My Name recounts her descent into prostitution and narcotics. Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas sees her forging a career in showbusiness, and in The Heart of a Woman, she moves to New York and becomes involved in civil rights. All God’s Children Need Travelling Shoes explores her time in Ghana during the 1960s, and in A Song Flung up to Heaven, she returns to America to work with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. When tragedy strikes, her friend James Baldwin helps her out of her devastation – and new opportunities beckon for Maya.
Angelou’s memoirs have become modern classics, beloved worldwide, and these stunning dramatisations illuminate her incredible resilience, creativity and power, painting an extraordinary portrait of 20th century black America.