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Dublin: 7 °C Saturday 20 December, 2014

Writer Maya Angelou has died at 86

She was best known for her work I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.

Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou
Image: AP/Press Association Images

ACCLAIMED AMERICAN WRITER Maya Angelou has died at the age of 86.

She was found dead at her home this morning. Dr Angelou had been poorly and had cancelled her appearances at a number of events in recent weeks due to what was described as an unexpected ailment.

The writer became famous with the 1969 publication of her book, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings and had published seven autobiographies as well as three books of essays, several books of poetry, and plays, films and television shows over the course of her 50-year career.

She was hailed as a trailblazer for her work in a number of fields, including as a civil rights advocate.

Her work documented what it was like to be a black woman in America, drawing on her own experiences, beginning in the Deep South in the 1930s.

She came through a traumatic childhood, during which she was raped by her mother’s boyfriend.  She worked as a professional dancer, prostitute, playwright, television producer, and lecturer before her first works were published.

She was one of the first black women to write a best-seller, and was chosen to read one of her poems at Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993. The poem, On The Pulse of Morning, went on to sell more than one million copies.


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