The folk flavor of her storytelling has earned herconstant comparison to Langston Hughes and ZoraNeale Hurston, but through four collections ofshort stories and two novels, J. California Cooperhas proven that hers is a wholly original talent--one that embraces readers in an ever-wideningcircle from one book to the next. With "InSearch Of Satisfaction," Coopergracefully portrays men and women, some good and otherswickedly twisted, caught in their individualthickets of want and need. On a once-grand plantationin Yoville, "a legal town-ship founded by thevery rich for their own personal use," afreed slave named Josephus fathers two daughters, Ruth and Yinyang, by two different women. Hisdesire, to give Yinyang and himself money andopportunities, oozes through the family like an elixir, melding with the equally strong yearnings ofYoville's other residents, whose tastes don'tcomplement their neighbors'. What Josephus buries in hislife affects generations to come. J. CaliforniaCooper's unfettered view of sin, forgiveness, andredemption gives "In Search OfSatisfaction" a singular richness that belies itsuniversal themes.
About the Author
J. California Cooper is the author of novels, six collections of stories, and seventeen plays. Her book "Homemade Love" was the winner of the American Book Award in 1989, and she has been honored as the Black Playwright of the Year. She has also received the James Baldwin Writing Award and the Literary Lion Award from the American Library Association. She lived in California until her death in 2014.
"Cooper's...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."
"Cooper writes about small-town life with a verve that nearly bursts off the page."