April 15-30, 2005 Book Deals

April 15, 2005
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April 15-30, 2005 Edition BOOK DEALS Riverhead Signs Popular

Playwright Tyler Perry

For First Book

New York, NY/04/11/05—Tyler Perry, the ground-breaking and immensely popular playwright and performer who created the #1 hit movie, Diary of A Mad Black Woman, will write his first book, Don’t Make A Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings: Madea’s Uninhibited Commentaries on Love and Life, to be published by Riverhead Books in 2006.

Tyler Perry shares uniquely wise, endearing, and ferociously funny observations, advice, and beliefs in his book through the voice of his beloved character Madea Simmons, the outrageous, irreverent, gun-toting grandmother at the center of Diary of A Mad Black Woman and other productions, including the currently touring stage show, Madea Goes to Jail. Sean McDonald, Senior Editor, Riverhead Books, acquired world, first serial, and audio rights to Don’t Make A Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings from literary agent Jay Mandel of the William Morris Agency.

Mr. McDonald comments, “For anyone who’s witnessed any of Tyler’s performances, on stage or screen, it’s obvious how dynamically talented he is as a writer and as a performer. He’s funny, sharp, and irreverent, but also inspiring, and he manages to instantly craft fully human drama, dialogue, and characters—most especially Madea, who is truly one of the great dramatic creations of our time. So it’s thrilling (and a little terrifying) to be involved in bringing her voice to the pages of Don’t Make A Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings.”

Julie Grau, Vice President and Publisher, Riverhead Books, adds, “Seeing Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail was a revelation—an experience that instantly convinced us that this immensely gifted man can do anything. That his talent is matched by his awareness of how to connect with his audience on every level is what makes him such a unique figure in entertainment right now. We are so excited to be a part of his busy and exciting 2006 and so proud to work with him on his first book. We are anticipating great things —with this book and well into the future.”

Tyler Perry says, “I hope that my book will continue the same spirit of my other works; to make people laugh and give them something to think about to help their lives. I am so delighted to be associated with Riverhead and Penguin Group. As usual, Madea is insisting on having the first word.”


One of America’s most successful young playwrights, Tyler Perry is also an immensely popular director, producer and actor, starring in his own productions, including the recently released #1 hit movie based on his sold-out stage show, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, which has grossed more than $50 million at the box office through the last weekend in March.

Within the span of only six years, Tyler Perry went from being homeless “out on the streets” to selling out theaters everywhere. He has accomplished this feat with not only one production, but with seven shows, having successfully toured the nation to standing room only crowds and thus creating a change in the history of urban theater. His most famous character, the gun-toting, wisecracking, brutally honest grandmother, Madea Simmons, has become as recognizable as Redd Foxx’s Fred Sanford, Flip Wilson’s Geraldine and any number of Eddie Murphy’s creations.

Raised in New Orleans in an abusive household, Perry was inspired by Oprah Winfrey to write a series of letters to himself in 1992 in an effort to find a catharsis for his own childhood pain. Those letters would form the basis for his first hit musical, I Know I’ve Been Changed, a rousing stage play about adult survivors of child abuse. Perry continues to receive fan mail from people who talk about how seeing that show changed their lives.

In 1998, Bishop T. D. Jakes saw I Know I’ve Been Changed and tabbed Perry to help with the production of the Woman, Thou Art Loosed stage play – which Perry helped rewrite, produce and direct as well as handling everything from make-up to stage-managing and production design. The re-worked Woman, Thou Art Loosed production grossed over $5 million in just five months, selling out in every major US city and performing to standing room only crowds. In 2000, Bishop Jakes again asked Perry to work on his musical, Behind Closed Doors. He was ultimately nominated for four NAACP Theatre Awards for his production of this show.

Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself opened in the year 2000 to rave reviews and sold-out houses in New York, Chicago, D.C., Memphis, New Orleans and Atlanta. The production only played in five markets, yet grossed $1 million-plus. Perry was nominated for the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actor for his role as Madea, becoming the first Urban Theatre actor to be nominated for this prestigious award.

Perry’s second independent but fifth touring project, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, opened to a full house in New Orleans in January 2001 and played to sold out audiences everywhere. A year later, Madea’s Family Reunion, a production in which Perry once again donned the Madea Simmons personae, began touring the country to sold out shows. In January 2003, Madea’s Class Reunion – The Class That Had No Class, debuted to more SRO crowds.

As a result of the success of the astounding Madea character, Perry branched out further to portray more of life’s ups and downs by shining the comedic spotlight on David & Tamela Mann in the 2004-2005 debut and tour of Meet the Browns. This play, not featuring Madea, generated overwhelmingly positive responses to another favorite character, Mr. Leroy Brown. Following the success of Meet the Browns, Perry began touring Madea Goes to Jail in January 2005.

Penguin Group (USA) Inc. is the U.S. member of the internationally renowned Penguin Group. Penguin Group (USA) is one of the leading U.S. adult and children’s trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks, including Berkley Books, Dutton, Frederick Warne, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Grosset & Dunlap, New American Library, Penguin Books, The Penguin Press, Philomel, Plume, Puffin, Riverhead Books and Viking, among others. The Penguin Group ( http://www.penguin.com) is part of Pearson plc, the international media company.

Simon & Schuster

to Release Mary

Cheney’s Memoir

NEW YORK, NY/04/01/05—U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter, Mary Cheney, has signed a deal with Simon & Schuster’s new conservative imprint, Threshold to publish her memoir. The amount of the deal was not disclosed.

Mary, who is openly gay, served as a top aide during her father’s campaigns in 2000 and 2004. She became political fodder in 2004 when Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass, mentioned that Mary was a lesbian, and her parents countered, calling Kerry’s remarks a cheap political truck.

Mary Matalin, who oversees the new S&S imprint, said the new memoir will give Mary a chance to express her own perceptions and ideas, now that she is not actively campaigning for her dad. The book is the first to be acquired by Matalin for the new line. Matalin is the wife of Democratic consultant James Carville.

Threshold plans to release about six to 10 titles per year.

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