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J. California Cooper, 1932-2014

posted by: September 24, 2014 - 10:04am

Cover art for FamilyCover art for Some People, Some Other PlaceCover art for Homemade LoveAcclaimed novelist and short story writer J. California Cooper has died at the age of 82. The award-winning writer’s well-known works include the novels Family and Some People, Some Other Place and the short story collection Homemade Love.

 

Cooper led a storied life herself which included a variety of jobs such as manicurist and Alaskan pipeline teamster before realizing her dream of being a professional writer. Throughout her varied employment, she was constantly writing and achieved success initially as a playwright. But it wasn’t until Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker attended one of her plays and encouraged Cooper to try her hand at novels and short stories that Cooper’s writing path changed course.

 

Walker was a catalyst in Cooper’s career but her unpretentious and informal storytelling style helped her develop legions of devoted fans including new readers who continue to find her work relevant and enjoyable. One such aficionado is National Book Award-winning poet Nikki Giovanni, who has called Cooper "my favorite storyteller." Cooper was also critically praised and awards bestowed upon her include the James Baldwin Writing Award and the Literary Lion Award from the American Library Association.
 


 
 

I love her books and style of writing. She will be missed by many.

One of my most favorite authors. She will be missed.

I'm very sorry to hear of her passing, what a great writer she was I always looked forward to reading one of her novels or short stories and I for one will miss her tremedously. SIP Ms Cooper!

Godspeed Ms Cooper. One of the greatest story teller ever.



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Revised: September 24, 2014