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.
"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."