Some Soul to Keep (Paperback)
Exuberant and heart-warming, J. California Cooper is the embodiment of the simple folk tradition in black writing associated most often with Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes. The author of seventeen plays and two novels, it is her stories of black family life in rural and small town America that have achieved the most acclaim and the broadest audience. SOME SOUL TO KEEP is amongst the finest and most enduring of her work.
Cooper writes with a transparent clarity and such high-spirited energy that her characters leap off the page, bursting with the stories they've got to tell--stories of simple people, stories of families and fate, of love and marriage, of death and the triumph of the human spirit. Cooper is that most rare and wondrous thing: a true storyteller whose tales trace the energies of life itself.
About the Author
J. California Cooper (1931-2014) is the author of two novels, six collections of stories, and seventeen plays. She was honored as the Black Playwright of the Year in 1978 for her play Strangers, and her book Homemade Love was the winner of the American Book Award in 1986. She also received the James Baldwin Writing Award and the Literary Lion Award from the American Library Association.
“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 Walker
“Cooper's stories beckon. It's as if she is patting the seat next to her, enticing us to come sit and listen as she tells complex tales about women, often poor women, chasing dreams of love, a house, and a family.” —Ms.
“Cooper is humorous, wise, self-deprecating, and always expressive...her stories are about simple truths told with great energy that makes them shine.” —Kirkus Reviews
“The stories are wonderful, very human tales that sparkle with warmth, humor, and often, revernge.” —Library Journal
“Cooper's stories dramatize the wages of sin and the rewards of patience, as well as the occasional sweet taste of revenge.” —Chicago Tribune
“Cooper knows how to 'talk' her stories to us, as though each of them is told by a kindly and concerned friend. The sound of them is lovely, memorable, haunting.” —San Francisco Chronicle