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Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas [Paperback]

By Maya Angelou (Author)
Our Price $ 5.94  
Retail Value $ 6.99  
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Item Number 156356  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 6.89" Width: 4.25" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.28 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 31, 1985
Publisher   Bantam
Age  13
ISBN  0553251996  
EAN  9780553251999  

Availability  0 units.

Alternate Formats List Price Our Price Item Number Availability
Mass Market Paperback $ 6.99 $ 5.94 156356
Paperback $ 16.00 $ 13.60 2205037 In Stock
Item Description...
The noted writer-entertainer continues her autobiography, recounting her passage into adulthood and the white world, her initial experiences of marriage, motherhood, and show business, and her European tour in Porgy and Bess

Publishers Description
Here Maya Angelou, dazzling entertainer, casts  the spotlight on her show business career -- a  pageant of international scope. Maya, the woman,  shares her sad, failed marriage to a white man, her  early motherhood and achingly sensitive  relationship with her young son, and her bone-deep, painful  suspicion of the white world that welcomes her  talent so dramatically ...
"Honest, funny and heartwarming... The strength of the book is Angelou's lyrical writing... a God-given gift." — The Washington Star.

"The buoyant, gifted Maya Angelou continues her autobiography... both her joy and her despair have twice as much impact as most people's." — New York Magazine.
Maya Angelou has written five volumes of autobiography, including the bestselling I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and many collections of poetry, as well as "On the Pulse of Morning," the poem she read at the inauguration of President William Jefferson Clinton in 1993. All of her poems have been gathered together in The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou. Maya Angelou is currently Reynolds Professor at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

From the Hardcover edition.
Memoirist, novelist, poet, and dramatist, Maya Angelou is one of the best-loved writers of our time.  She is widely acclaimed for her searing, inspiring writings--and she has been praised for confronting both the racial and sexual pressures on black women, and for infusing her work with a perspective on larger social and political movements, including civil rights.

In the volumes of her bestselling personal story--one of the most remarkable narratives ever shared--Maya Angelou writes about the struggles and triumphs of her extraordinary life with candor, humor, poignancy, and grace. These include:

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

The classic autobiography of her young years.

Gather Together In My Name

The coming-of-age story of her struggle for survival as a young unwed mother.  

Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas

The saga of her show business career, her failed marriage, and her early motherhood.

The Heart of a Woman

The turbulent story of her emergence as a writer and a political activist.

Wouldn't Take Nothing For My Journey Now

Her exhilarating collection of wisdom, spirituality, and life lessons.

1. If I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is about self-discovery, and Gather Together in My Name is about self-reliance, what theme would you derive from Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas?

2. What is the significance of the author discarding the nicknames "Ritie", "Sugar", and "Rita"?

3. On her travels around the world and throughout the book, what does Maya learn about prejudice and tolerance?

4. How would you characterize Guy? In what ways are he and his mother alike? How do they differ?

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More About Maya Angelou

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.

From the Hardcover edition.

Maya Angelou lived in Winston-Salem, in the state of North Carolina. Maya Angelou was born in 1928 and died in 2014.

Maya Angelou has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Modern Library (Hardcover)
  2. Penguin Classics
  3. Poetry for Young People (Hardcover)

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A More Mature but Still Naive Singin' and Swingin' Angelou  Aug 1, 2006
SINGIN' & SWINGIN', the third installment in Angelou's autobiographical series of books, pleased me more than did the first two, or perhaps I should say that it is less uncomfortable to read than are its predecessors. I must confess that, by the time I finished Angelou's second book, her nearly constant expression of prejudice against Caucasian Americans was becoming tedious.

One finds a very thick thread of bias and racial distrust in both CAGED BIRD and in GATHER TOGETHER, and that thread is made even more annoying by the fact that the many instances of abuse and betrayal that Angelou relates in those first two books are all perpetrated not by Whites but by her fellow Blacks, yet that race receives none of her blanket condemnation. Granted, I suppose that, had I lived as a Black in Stamps, Arkansas in the 1930s and '40s, I too would have copious reasons to distrust and dislike the entire White population of the United States, yet the barrage of vituperation directed against that population does become repetitive and predictable, two traits that an author should normally avoid in a book, the justification behind them notwithstanding. SINGIN' & SWINGIN' is not devoid of Angelou's racial prejudices by any means, but it is not so heavily laden with them, and they are not so intrusive as to overwhelm the reader.

Two other targets of criticism arise in Angelou's first three books: her veracity and her own culpability for some of the blows she has described. As to the first, the historical accuracy of these books, I have mentioned in another review that I find most unusual the fact that Angelou, a dropout from the formal educational system, habitue of bars and sometime prostitute and brothel owner, actually plunged into books by authors such as Jane Eyre and Dostoevski for pleasure. Nonetheless, the fact that she writes of having done so tells us something of her self concept and desire for fulfillment and meaning in her life. In SINGIN' & SWINGIN', she writes of her success as a professional singer and dancer, of touring Europe as a cast member of the musical "Porgy and Bess," and of interacting with many "big name" performers. Did she actually "rub shoulders" with all the notables mentioned in her book?

She is re-creating events from years past, and it may be that we are seeing some of her dreams as well as her actions, but what of that? Are not our dreams as much a part of our history as are our recordable acts? And are not all history books, written as they are by victors rather than by the vanquished, slanted by the world view of their authors? Besides, a good story usually benefits from some judicious embellishment. I find no quibble with Angelou's veracity, for I do not expect a word-for-word recollection of some conversation with a colleague decades ago but rather a retelling of that conversation that gives the reader a feel for the way it sounded in Angelou's ears.

The third target, her own culpability for her treatment by others and for the guilt that she herself generates, is purely and simply inapplicable to a review of the book. The reader may feel strongly that Angelou had no right or privilege to seek freedom by touring Europe when she left her young son to the care of others and that she fully deserves the feeling of guilt that she describes. Another reader may feel that she was stupidly careless in her relationships with the Greek purser on her ship and with the ship's doctor. Indeed, even though the Angelou we find in this book is more mature than are her younger incarnations in the previous books, she can still be seen as incredibly naive and even foolish in numerous situations. There will be those who criticize the book because of these self-depictions. However, we must believe that this is the way Angelou saw herself at that stage of her life, and, while the reader may at times want to shake some sense into her, he must not allow this to affect his judgement of the book. Indeed, Angelou paints a very clear picture of herself--as she remembers herself--so, while we may be occasionally annoyed with the picture, we cannot fault the skill of the artist, for the picture is quite clear and unambiguous.

I do not find SINGIN' & SWINGIN' to be a "stand-alone" book. For the reader to understand and appreciate Angelou's situation in this book, he needs to have read I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS and GATHER TOGETHER IN MY NAME first. We should consider her autobiographical books mere chapters from a larger tome, and we need to read those chapters in order. Of course, having once begun this imaginary book, the reader will want to finish it, and I am looking forward to beginning the next "chapter" in short order.

Oh, one final thought: Ever wonder where Angelou's last name originated and how she "morphed" from Marguerite Johnson into Maya Angelou? The earlier books explained the "Maya," but this one explains the "Angelou." It's a neat revelation.
Candid autobiography.  Nov 5, 2002
Maya Angelou tells us without restraint how she crawled out of the hell of her youth years to become a star dancer.
Vivid decription of the situation of the African Americans and their mentality in the middle of last century.
Evocative language, sharp, intelligent and fluent.
A book to recommend.
overall good  Apr 6, 2002
I think that the book was very interesting in the beginning and the end, because I like the way it started out like she was shy about her entertainment career. And at the end it was very dramatic about how she was about to kill herself and her son as well because her life wasn't going the way she wanted it to go. Also, how the white community despised her and didn't accept the person that she was. This book really caught my eye, even though I am a young adult. I would recommend this book to teenagers and adults of all ages because it really is an excellent book.
great follow up, but...  Jan 20, 2002
this third installment of angelou's sutobiography is just as well written and interesting as her first two. however, i have become completely baffled with ine aspect of the novel. in the first two books, her son's name was guy. suddenly, in "singin and swingin..." her son is referred to as clyde! if anyone knows why this is so, please share your explanation. it would be highly appreciated! and whatever his name is, still a good read.
Gracious  Jul 27, 2000
A very pleasant read. There's nothing like traveling Europe and Africa by way of Angelou's memory and experience (if you can't get there personally). This autobiography covers the time Maya spent with the Porgy and Bess opera. I'm always amazed at the elegant, graceful and poetic way the author tells her life story. I'm even more amazed at how those same characteristics are exhibited in her speech, her stature, and her aura. This is a quick read that is sure to inspire. Angelou has a way of sharing wisdom and experience in a manner that connects with most any reader. Add this one to your list and be sure to check out some of her audiotapes as well. The only thing better than reading Maya's work, is listening to Maya read her work.

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