Don't Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings: Madea's Uninhibited Commentaries on Love and Life

Tyler Perry, Author . Riverhead $23.95 (254p) ISBN 978-1-59448-921-1

One could say that if the title of this book confuses you, then you probably shouldn't be reading it. But, as Madea helpfully suggests, "If you don't understand something I'm saying here and you're not black, you will have to ask somebody who is." Madea—Southern-speak for "mother dear"—is the fierce alter ego of Tyler Perry, who has paraded the marijuana-smoking, pistol-packing, trash-talking matron through a series of hit gospel plays and films. Although primarily a comic figure based on unapologetically crude behavior coming from a harmless-looking old lady, Madea is envisioned by Perry (who provides his own introduction before turning the reins over to his inner grandma) as a throwback to a time when strong matriarchs ruled the community. The result is a surprisingly fresh compilation of homespun advice—which Madea says the reader should take "at your own risk"—on love, sex, getting ahead in life and (strangely) the thousand-plus uses of Vaseline. Although veering dangerously close to serious at times, Perry litters Madea's anarchic, stage-ready monologues with hilariously bad quips along the lines of "the grass is always greener on the other side, but the water bill is higher." (Apr. 11)

Reviewed on: 02/20/2006
Release date: 04/01/2006
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Paperback - 254 pages - 978-1-59448-240-3
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