What Looks Like Crazy

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What Looks Like Crazy

by P Cleage

HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS | October 7, 1998 | Trade Paperback

What Looks Like Crazy is rated 3.7143 out of 5 by 7.
In a remarkable debut novel that sizzles with sensuality, crackles with life-affirming energy and moves the reader to laughter and tears, author Pearl Cleage creates a world rich in character, human drama, and deep, compassionate understanding. After a decade of luxe living in Atlanta, Ava Johnson has returned to tiny Idlewild, Michigan -- her fabulous career and power plans smashed to bits on one dark truth: Ava has tested positive for HIV. Bur rather than a sorrowful end, her homecoming is a new beginning. Because, in the ten-plus years since she left, all the problems of the big city have invaded the sleepy community of her childhood. Because dear friends and family sorely need her help in the face of impending trouble and tragedy, and Ava cannot turn her back on them. And because, most importantly, Ava Johnson is inexplicabley and undeniably falling in love.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 256 pages, 7.96 × 5.24 × 0.63 in

Published: October 7, 1998

Publisher: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 038079487X

ISBN - 13: 9780380794874

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good, Not Great I did enjoy reading this book. A little bit unrealistic, but a fun, very simple, short read. Made me wonder why Oprah chose it to be part of her book club. Ideas anyone???
Date published: 2004-05-14
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Don't bother!!! The best thing I can say about this book is that it was short. I've lost all faith in Oprah to pick a decent book, and will NEVER go with one of her recommendations again. I wish I could give it 0 stars because it does not even deserve one! What a complete waste of time.
Date published: 2000-07-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book "feels" great! I had passed this book over many times in the bookstore and I could never quite decide to buy it. Then I got the book as a Christmas gift. I started this book on Boxing Day and let's just say until the last page was read I wasn't much company. This is a book about aids and young kids gone bad but you never once feel depressed about it. Cleage expresses the hope and the passion for life that is in us all while discussing serious issues. I felt a connection to Eva even though my life is very different from hers. On the last page I was smiling and I had grown that little bit more as a person. While I don't think a lot of the books Oprah has picked are show-stoppers, this one is definitely a pick-me-up, feel-good champion.
Date published: 2000-01-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Top of the Line BAD BAD BAD! And again I have to ask myself..."What was Oprah thinking???" As if it wasn't enough that this book was uninteresting, but the style of writing frustrated me to no end!!! This book was slow, introduced too many sub-plots, and failed to focus on the main character and intended theme. I was once again quite dissappointed in Oprah's choice and decided never to trust her selections again.
Date published: 1999-08-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day I was prepared to hate this book because it's an Oprah Book Club selection. But I have to say this story of a woman with AIDS falling in love with an ex-con is actually one of the most romantic I've ever read. No big sex scenes, no mystery, no suspense - just a nice story about a woman moving back to her small town origins to live with her sister while she decides what to do with her life. Unbelievable, but Clage actually makes you laugh while you read about violence, drugs and fear. A good read all around
Date published: 1999-05-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Romancing the Reader After reading the first two pages of this book, I put it down. I really wasn't in the mood to read about someone with HIV - too depressing. Later I decided to take another look. This time, I picked it up and couldn't put it down. Pearl Cleage does a masterful job of drawing the reader into a story about love and commitment - the love of self, the love of two sisters, the love of a woman and man, the love of community. This book has a feel-good quality that made me not want the story to end. Everyday I would look forward to my subway ride to work just so I could catch up on what was happening in the lives of Eva, Joyce and Eddie. What I really enjoyed was how Cleage was able to subtly convey passion. Instead of it being in your face, before you know it, you're wrapped up in the characters' emotional lives - Joyce's passion for Imani and the Sewing Circus, Eva's new-found desire to live and Eddie's ability to convey love in such an accepting and sensual way. As you can tell I loved the layers of this book. Kudos to Cleage who also addresses many of our societal woes, delicately weaving such relevant issues as teenage pregnancy, HIV and crime into the main storyline. However, Cleage's biggest achievement is that, at the same time, she is able to convey a sense of hope, and a commitment to living life with love, compassion and vitality.
Date published: 1999-03-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Romancing the reader After reading the first two pages of this book, I put it down. I really wasn't in the mood to read about someone with HIV - too depressing. Later I decided to take another look. This time, I picked it up and couldn't put it down. Pearl Cleage does a masterful job of drawing the reader into a story about love and commitment - the love of self, the love of two sisters, the love of a woman and man, the love of community. This book has a feel-good quality that made me not want the story to end. Everyday I would look forward to my subway ride to work just so I could catch up on what was happening in the lives of Eva, Joyce and Eddie. What I really enjoyed was how Cleage was able to subtly convey passion. Instead of it being in your face, before you know it, you're wrapped up in the characters' emotional lives - Joyce's passion for Imani and the Sewing Circus, Eva's new-found desire to live and Eddie's ability to convey love in such an accepting and sensual way. As you can tell I loved the l
Date published: 1999-03-23

– More About This Product –

What Looks Like Crazy

by P Cleage

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 256 pages, 7.96 × 5.24 × 0.63 in

Published: October 7, 1998

Publisher: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 038079487X

ISBN - 13: 9780380794874

From the Publisher

In a remarkable debut novel that sizzles with sensuality, crackles with life-affirming energy and moves the reader to laughter and tears, author Pearl Cleage creates a world rich in character, human drama, and deep, compassionate understanding. After a decade of luxe living in Atlanta, Ava Johnson has returned to tiny Idlewild, Michigan -- her fabulous career and power plans smashed to bits on one dark truth: Ava has tested positive for HIV. Bur rather than a sorrowful end, her homecoming is a new beginning. Because, in the ten-plus years since she left, all the problems of the big city have invaded the sleepy community of her childhood. Because dear friends and family sorely need her help in the face of impending trouble and tragedy, and Ava cannot turn her back on them. And because, most importantly, Ava Johnson is inexplicabley and undeniably falling in love.

From the Jacket

After a decade of elegant pleasures and luxe living among the Atlanta brothers and sisters with the best clothes and biggest dreams, Ava Johnson has temporarily returned home to Idlewild -- her fabulous career and power plans smashed to bits by cold reality. But what she imagines is the end is, instead, a beginning. Because, in the ten-plus years since Ava left, all the problems of the big city have come to roost in the sleepy North Michigan community whose ordinariness once drove her away; and she cannot turn her back on friends and family who sorely need her in the face of impending trouble and tragedy. Besides which, that one unthinkable, unmistakable thing is now happening to her: Ava Johnson is falling in love.

Acclaimed playwright, essayist and columnist Pearl Cleage has created a world rich in character, human drama, and deep, compassionate understanding, in a remarkable debut novel that sizzles with sensuality, hums with gritty truth, and sings and crackles with life-affirming energy as it moves the reader to laughter and tears.

About the Author

Pearl Cleage is the author of Mad at Miles: A Black Woman's Guide to Truth and Deals with the Devil and Other Reasons to Riot. An accomplished Playwright, she teaches playwriting at Spelman College, is a cofounder of the literary magazine Catalyst and writes a column for the Atlanta Tribune. Ms. Cleage lives in Atlanta with her husband. What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day...is her first novel.

From Our Editors

Growing up in Idlewild, Michigan, Ava Johnson learned if you were young, black, and had any sense, Atlanta was the place to be. So when she was old enough, Ava moved to the land of destiny and found fame and wealth in her self-fashioned hair salon. In no time, she was moving with the brothers and sisters who had great clothes, big cars, bigger dreams and money in the bank. After a decade of elegant pleasures and luxury living, Ava has come home, her fabulous career and plans smashed to bits by one dark truth. She's tested positive for HIV. Ava returns to little Idlewild to spend one last summer with her widowed sister, Joyce. But Idlewild isn't the same little town. There's the Sewing Circus - Joyce's effort to teach Idlewild's young black women about sex, drugs and pregnancy. And the crack addicted baby Joyce has taken under her wing. Then there's Wild Eddie, whose legendary, violent background and eastern gentility stirs Ava's interest...and something more.

Editorial Reviews

"Very funny and charming. . .Following Cleage''s twists and turns of the human spirit, readers may find themselves in a very inspired and uplifted plane well before the last page."--"Washington Post Book World

"Cleage writes with amazing grace and killer instinct."--"The New York Times

"Engrossing, entertaining. . .[a] wryly observant, moving tale. . .WHAT LOOKS LIKE CRAZY is a smart novel that will have readers laughing in recognition of the foibles of human nature as it lays bare its characters''--and our own--assumptions about class, sexuality, and love in unexpected and thoroughly gratifying ways."--"Atlanta Journal Constitution

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