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books by pearl cleage

I never thought I would write one novel, much less have completed my sixth one. The first book, What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day, came about because I had an idea for a story that wouldn't fit into the structure a play requires. It was a very different process for me creatively, but I enjoyed it and was eager to try it again. At the time, I had no idea that some of the characters would stay with me for the next ten years! Aretha Hargrove is first introduced in What Looks Like Crazy when she's only sixteen. She appears in Seen It All and Done the Rest, as a woman of twenty-six, recently divorced and struggling to balance her artistic life and the responsibilities of motherhood. She has grown up in the pages of these books! The first two novels take place in Idlewild, Michigan, a once thriving resort that didn't survive the integration of America's formerly segregated vacation spots. Too many of us thought that because we now could go elsewhere, we should go elsewhere. I used to go to Idlewild as a child and writing about it took me back to those days in a way that felt like home. The other four books are all set in southwest Atlanta where I've lived since 1970. Placing my characters in my own neighborhood was challenging. I knew if I didn't get it right, my neighbors wouldn't hesitate to let me know it! But it was fun to take a little poetic license without sacrificing the essence of the West End community I know and love. When Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin told me she had given my books to some of her international visitors to give them some of the flavor of really living in Atlanta, I couldn't have been prouder.
the books
Seen It All And Done The Rest

NEW! Seen It All and Done the Rest
March 2008, Ballantine/One World

 

Baby Brother's Blues
2006, Ballantine/One World

 

We Speak Your Names

We Speak Your Names
2006, Ballantine/One World

Babylon Sisters
2005, Ballantine/One World

 

Some Things

Some Things I Never Thought I'd Do
2003, Ballantine/One World

 

I Wish I Had A Red Dress
2001, Avon Books

What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day
1997, Avon Books