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0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Pearl Cleage Narrator: Pearl Cleage Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In this inspiring memoir, the award-winning playwright and bestselling author of What Looks like Crazy on an Ordinary Day reminisces on the art of juggling marriage, motherhood, and politics while working to become a successful writer.

In addition to being one of the most popular living playwrights in America, Pearl Cleage is a bestselling author with an Oprah Book Club pick and multiple awards to her credit. But there was a time when such stellar success seemed like a dream. In this revelatory and deeply personal work, Cleage takes readers back to the 1970s and ’80s, retracing her struggles to hone her craft amid personal and professional tumult.

Though born and raised in Detroit, it was in Atlanta that Cleage encountered the forces that would most shape her experience. Married to Michael Lomax, now head of the United Negro College Fund, she worked with Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first African American mayor. Things I Should Have Told My Daughter charts not only the political fights but also the pull she began to feel to focus on her own passions, including writing—a pull that led her away from Lomax as she grappled with ideas of feminism and self-fulfillment. This fascinating memoir follows her journey from a columnist for a local weekly to a playwright and Hollywood scriptwriter, an artist at the crossroads of culture and politics whose circle came to include luminaries like Richard Pryor, Avery Brooks, Phylicia Rashad, Shirley Franklin, and Jesse Jackson. By the time Oprah Winfrey picked What Looks like Crazy on an Ordinary Day as a favorite, Cleage had long since arrived as a writer of renown.

In the tradition of greats like Susan Sontag, Joan Didion, and Nora Ephron, Cleage’s self-portrait raises women’s confessional writing to the level of great literature.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Here’s the thing about this book: it will make you braver, you’ll want to live your life better and make a difference, you’ll become more forgiving. My copy is all underlined and dog-eared and I’ll probably read it two more times…at least.”

    Jane Fonda

  • “A journal is the perfect place to watch one’s self grow. Pearl Cleage’s changes are many in this gift of record-keeping during the early, middle, and (a few glimpses at what may be) the later years of her life. The honesty and humor, insight, and determination to show up authentically is pure Cleage.”

    Alice Walker

  • “Pearl’s courageous, candid recollections of the ups and downs of her life remind us of our human nature, at times, to doubt and judge ourselves too harshly. Her wit and authenticity allows us to look at our own lives with a bit of levity, compassion, and freedom.”

    Valerie Jackson, radio host and philanthropist

  • “An enjoyable, nonstop read. Familiar and profound. Pearl’s memories feel like my own. Her lies, lessons, and love affairs wash over me like water, sage, and lavender. She makes me feel at home in her life.”

    Jasmine Guy, actress

  • “Cleage’s extraordinary experiences, deep social concerns, passionate self-analysis, and personal and artistic liberation, all so openly confided, make for a highly charged, redefining read.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “A sampling of playwright and novelist Cleage’s journal entries over twenty years, from 1970 to 1990, as a young journalist, feminist, civil rights activist, wife, and mother delineates a long, difficult journey toward self-realization…By turns frank, and wide-eyed, Cleage’s entries reflect a fulsome, tender spirit, hungry for authentic experience, eager for love.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “There’s an urgency to Pearl Cleage’s narration—as if her life depends on every word she shares from her journals of the 1970s and ’80s. Speaking rhythmically, passionately, she says exactly what’s on her mind and soulfully talks to listeners as if they’re good friends. She’s colorful with her language and candid in tone…Poetically employing repetition, Cleage emphasizes the joys and frustrations of life and of coming into her own womanhood.”

    AudioFile

  • “Cleage’s observations explode with joy, anxiety, anger, and, of course, honesty; her style is breezy and casual but the content is complex. Her fans will embrace this work, and all readers interested in women’s memoirs, especially those focused on the struggle against racism and sexism, will be moved by this title.”

    Library Journal

  • “The great virtue of this seemingly unedited journal is that it gives a vivid sense of a real life’s varied natureA warts-and-all self-portrait rendered in juicy, robust prose.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “[Things I Should Have Told My Daughter] shows an intelligent, resilient, remarkable woman bearing witness to the sometimes insane world of politics, to friendships, love, and American culture. Her reflections often made me laugh out loud. Cleage’s journals are spellbinding!”

    Deborah Santana, author of Space between the Stars

  • “From the moment I opened this book, I knew that I was reading an old friend who would inspire us with her ‘flat-footed truths’ and intellect. I knew her memory would intersect with mine in her walk toward Black womanhood and freedom. I laughed, cried, leaned back on my eyes and hummmmed.”

    Sonia Sanchez, poet and activist

  • “Pearl Cleage is a truth teller, a soothsayer, and a brilliant storyteller. She tells it like it is, like it was, and like it will be. Things I Never Told My Daughter is an amazing account of Cleage’s development as a woman, a mother, and an artist. This is real talk delivered without ego or pretense. This is the book I have been waiting for.”

    Tayari Jones, author of Silver Sparrow

  • “A juicy book. A fun book. Sometimes really sad. But always triumph. Pearl Cleage is at it again. Making us think and feel. Pour a glass of good red wine and indulge yourself. We, who knew it was there and knew it had to come out, need no excuse. We can just sit and turn page after wonderful age. Pearl, whether or not your kid needs it, we do. Things I Should Have Told My Daughter is another gem. I’m wearing it proud.”

    Nikki Giovanni, poet and activist

  • “Sister Citizen Pearl Cleage opens up her treasure chest of wit, wisdom, and passion and offers us a lifeline through the late twentieth century. In this brilliant, inspiring memoir, [she] lives out loud and in living color. And before you know it, Sister Pearl has changed your world!”

    Andrea Hairston, author of Redwood and Wildfire

  • “This rich, honest memoir is a gift to all daughters, all women, looking to make their way through life with joy, intelligence, and panache. Thank you, Pearl Cleage, for sharing.”

    Tina McElroy Ansa, author of Ugly Ways

  • “Cleage gives a history lesson you didn’t get in school.”

    Deborah Burton-Johnson, founder of Turning Pages Book Club

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