Pearl Cleage

“The purpose of my writing, often, is to express the point where racism and sexism meet.”

Pearl Cleage photo

Pearl Cleage is a Top 100 Bestselling Author Making Our List 10 Times

Pearl Cleage is an accomplished playwright, journalist, poet, and novelist. She probes issues of race, sex, and love in a growing body of literary work while she reveals poignant truths about brave black women.

Born on December 7, 1948 in Springfield, Massachusetts, Pearl Michelle Cleage grew up in Detroit, Michigan. Her father, Albert B. Cleage, Jr. was a prominent minister who ran for governor of Michigan in 1962 on the Freedom Ticket; her mother was an elementary school teacher.

Since the early 1980s, Cleage has drawn national attention with her dramatic works, which include Flyin’ West, an extraordinary play about pioneer black women at the turn of the century, and Blues for an Alabama Sky. Her first novel What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, was an Oprah’s Book Club selection, a New York Times bestseller, and a BCALA Literary Award winner. She is also the author of I Wish I Had a Red Dress, Mad at Miles, and Deals with the Devil. A contributing editor to Essence magazine, Pearl Cleage frequently performs her work on college campuses. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, Zaron W. Burnett, Jr.

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13 Books by Pearl Cleage