Claflin News

Renowned Author and Playwright Pearl Cleage to Lecture at Claflin University March 19

Mar 18, 2013

New York Times bestselling author and playwright Pearl Cleage will lecture at Claflin University on Tuesday, March 19.

The Cleage lecture is sponsored by the Department of English and Foreign Language and the Claflin University Lyceum Committee.  She will speak at 11 a.m. in the W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center and later that evening at 6 p.m. in the Grace Thomas Kennedy Auditorium. 

The lecture topic is “Narratives and Assumptions: What I Learned in Paris.”  A reception will be held in the Orange and Maroon Room at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 18.

The author’s first novel What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day was featured as an Oprah Book Club Selection in 1998 and was a New York Times bestseller for more than two months.  Cleage will sign copies of her book following the lectures.

Her play Flyin’ West became the most produced play in the nation.  Another one of her plays, Blues for an Alabama Sky, was performed at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

A native of Detroit, Michigan, Cleage graduated from Spelman College with a bachelor’s degree in drama.  She has served as the writer-in-residence and a William and Camille Cosby Endowed Chair at Spelman, where she was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in 2009. 

She has published eight novels over the last 15 years, including the 2007 NAACP Image Award winner for fiction Baby Brother’s Blues.  Her most recent plays are A Song for Coretta and The Nacriema Society Requests the Honor of Your Presence at a Celebration of Their First One Hundred Years. Cleage’s next play, What I Learned in Paris, will be featured next season at Atlanta’s Alliance Theater.

For more information, please contact Dr. Reginald Bess, chair of the Department of English and Foreign Languages, by phone at (803) 535-5710 or by e-mail at

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