In Search of Satisfaction by J. California Cooper | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
In Search of Satisfaction

In Search of Satisfaction

4.5 27
by J. California Cooper
     
 

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The folk flavor of her storytelling has earned her  constant comparison to Langston Hughes and Zora  Neale Hurston, but through four collections of  short stories and two novels, J. California Cooper  has proven that hers is a wholly original talent  --one that embraces readers in an ever-widening  circle

Overview

The folk flavor of her storytelling has earned her  constant comparison to Langston Hughes and Zora  Neale Hurston, but through four collections of  short stories and two novels, J. California Cooper  has proven that hers is a wholly original talent  --one that embraces readers in an ever-widening  circle from one book to the next. With In  Search Of Satisfaction, Cooper  gracefully portrays men and women, some good and others  wickedly twisted, caught in their individual  thickets of want and need. On a once-grand plantation  in Yoville, "a legal town-ship founded by the  very rich for their own personal use," a  freed slave named Josephus fathers two daughters,  Ruth and Yinyang, by two different women. His  desire, to give Yinyang and himself money and  opportunities, oozes through the family like an elixir,  melding with the equally strong yearnings of  Yoville's other residents, whose tastes don't  complement their neighbors'. What Josephus buries in his  life affects generations to come. J. California  Cooper's unfettered view of sin, forgiveness, and  redemption gives In Search Of  Satisfaction a singular richness that belies its  universal themes.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Cooper details a family saga in which two half-sisters attempt to come to grips with their father's legacy. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Cooper's newest work may provoke strong emotions but not much sympathy for the often misguided townspeople of Yoville, where Josephus, a freed slave, schemes to gain money and seek opportunities for himself and his daughter, Yinyang. Readers may be disgusted by the unbelievable display of greed, best exemplified by Carlene-the queen of avarice-or bored by the sometimes irritatingly didactic tone. On the other hand, they will relish Cooper's credible rendition of Southern speech patterns, for which she has been heartily praised. Although readers "in search of satisfaction" may not find it here, they should still scrutinize this award-winning author's earlier works, including, most recently, The Matter Is Life (LJ 6/1/91) and Family (LJ 12/90).-Faye A. Chadwell, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia
Mary Carroll
The author's note that opens Cooper's new novel declares: "I cannot think of anyone . . . who is not in search of satisfaction." Most readers would agree. But the several generations of characters (black and white, rich and poor) who populate Cooper's fictional Yoville have various definitions of what they need, and they use both good and evil tools to meet those needs. As in "Family" and the short stories in "The Matter Is Life" (both 1991), Cooper's compassionate but demanding moral vision animates her fiction. In a voice that blends elements of oral history, fable, and parable, her intrusive, judgmental, sometimes almost incantatory narrator tells stories of the descendants of an ex-slave named Josephus Josephus from the years after the Civil War to the late 1920s, as well as those descendants' often surprising involvements with the rich but troubled white family who dominates the town. Josephus' children (and his grandchildren) fall on both sides of the color line; they--and members of the wealthy Befoe family--sometimes choose the path of God and sometimes the ways of Satan. After a slow start, Cooper's latest inexorably involves the reader in the moral dilemmas and decisions of its well-developed characters.
From the Publisher
"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."
—Alice Walker

"Cooper writes  about small-town life with a verve that nearly bursts off the page."
Ms

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307778628
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/29/2010
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
480,660
File size:
718 KB

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