J. California Cooper
J. California Cooper is a Top 100 AALBC.com Bestselling Author Making Our List 29 Times
AALBC mourns the passing of J. California Cooper. EBONY.com reports that she transitioned in Seattle, Washington, on September 20th 2014, with daughter Paris Williams by her side.
“Her style is deceptively simple and direct and the vale of tears in which her characters reside is never so deep that a rich chuckle at a foolish person's foolishness cannot be heard.” —Alice WalkerJ. California Cooper first found acclaim as a playwright. The author of seventeen plays, she was named Black Playwright of the Year in 1978. It was through her work in the theater that she caught the attention of acclaimed poet and novelist Alice Walker. Encouraged by Walker to turn her popular storytelling skills to fiction, Cooper wrote her first collection of short stories, A Piece of Mine, in 1984. Called "rich in wisdom and insight" and "a book that's worth reading," A Piece of Mine introduced Cooper's trademark style: her intimate and energetic narration, sympathetic yet sometimes troubled characters, and the profound moral messages that underlie seemingly simple stories. Two more story collections followed on the heels of A Piece of Mine. In 1986 came Homemade Love, winner of an American Book Award, and, in 1987, Some Soul to Keep.