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.