Maya Angelou's autobiographical I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, published in 1970, describes her childhood in segregated Arkansas. The book paints a vivid picture of life in the rural South during the 1930s. When Maya moves to St. Louis with her mother, she is raped and remains mute for a number of years. Like Celie in The Color Purple, she eventually develops self-esteem.
Jane Hamilton's 1988 novel The Book of Ruth is the story of a poor, white, small-town girl, who comes of age through great trauma. Like Celie, she too finds self-realization...
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