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Pearl Cleage: 'Babylon Sisters'

Author and playwright Pearl Cleage's new book, Babylon Sisters, centers on a mother and daughter who are both making the best of life and love in Atlanta.

The novel is a cat-and-mouse game with a twist -- a successful single mother tries to deflect persistent questioning by her bright, college-bound daughter about who her father really was. The real father, a renowned foreign correspondent, never knew about the child and comes back into both of their lives in unexpected ways.

Babylon Sisters is her fourth novel -- she's also well known for her plays, including Bourbon at the Border, Blues for an Alabama Sky, and Flyin' West.

Her success has led Cleage to become one of the pre-eminent authors of African American women's fiction. Cleage tells NPR's Ed Gordon she owes a lot to a pioneer of the genre, Terry McMillan.

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