Critics have compared her work to that of Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston, but J. California Cooper has a warm, witty style that’s definitely her own. Each of her short stories is a gem of downhome wisdom, polished with a bit of gossip, some heartbreak, and lots of humor.
In "Funny Valentines" a "simple" woman draws one heart on Valentine’s Day and divides it among the people she loves, until all but one of them lies in the cemetery. "Living" portrays a man in midlife crisis who leaves his loving wife and pleasant country home for a taste of high city living and returns with a new perspective on life. "Spooks" is the tongue-in-cheek tale of a man who masquerades as a ghost in order to outsmart an unscrupulous suitor and win the heart of a vulnerable widow.
Sometimes sad, sometimes funny, and always touching, J. California Cooper’s characters enlighten us and enrich us as they find love in unlikely places. The warm narrations will give listeners a sense of chatting with nosy but well-meaning neighbors over the back fence.
"Told in first-person, in a lively, unobtrusive black dialect, these tales, set in both country and city, are lit with wisdom and high-spirited humor." (Publishers Weekly)
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- Kimberly Simmons
This was great
- Alva Hines