An experience with Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones

On a recent Thursday evening, the opportunity of a lifetime presented itself. The chance to meet renowned and bestselling authors were one thing, but to have the two authors be two favorites was yet another phenomenon beyond comprehension.

Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones spoke and signed autographs during an intimate event at Emory University. Intimate, in the fact that approximately 300 women had the chance to speak with both authors to get input into how they each navigated the sometimes-cruel waters of writing.

The compelling part for this reviewer was the fact that Ms. Cleage mentored Ms. Jones to help her become the great writer and storyteller she is today. In all fairness, I’ll admit, Pearl Cleage is a favorite author. Her first book What looks like Crazy on an Ordinary Day had a profound effect on this blogger.

Furthermore, the opportunity to witness the relationship between two well-known authors, who genuinely love and appreciate one another was yet another cause to respect both writers even more. The value gleaned from each lady about mentoring others and paying it forward resonated.

The more information the ladies espoused, the more entrenched the feeling or need to nurture other writers began to formulate in the minds of the audience. It was easy to see the lightbulbs flashing to the delight of many participants. The information empowered the audience to want to help authors grow by supporting them and sharing their books with fellow reading rebels.

Giving and sharing with comrades and Sistah Girls were the main points associated with the event. Tayari Jones benefited from her personal and spiritual connection with her friend and mentored Pearl Cleage.

Tayari’s book collection is familiar; readers appreciated her growth with the release of An American Marriage, she had been mentored from one of the best in the industry. Why wouldn’t she flourish?

Pearl had the opportunity to have Maya Angelou offer advice and words of wisdom. Wow! That must have been a powerful experience. Ms. Cleage had the benefit of dining with Bebe Moore Campbell before she passed away. She received encouragement from Alice Walker and other well-known authors who vowed their support to novice authors back in the day.

That was, before Twitter, Facebook, and all the other social media outlets that flourish today. After leaving the event and receiving the words of wisdom from two great authors, this reviewer was satisfied with how to move forward with spreading the word about good books and helping writers gain a broader audience or fan base.

Thank you, Tayari Jones, for reminding readers it’s important to have a mentor like Pearl Cleage and to consider paying it forward. Thank you, favorite author, Pearl Cleage for allowing the audience and your fans the words of wisdom.

Additionally, the appreciation from both New York Times Bestselling Authors, and Oprah Book Club members was evident in their amused faces. The event was magical, worth the drive and the experience. Readers, if you ever get the chance to meet your favorite author, trust and believe, the experience is incredible.

Watch the full conversation below…

Sistah Girls Book Club



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