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The Matter Is Life
     

The Matter Is Life

2.8 5
by J. California Cooper
 

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A fourth collection of stories by the award-winning author.

Overview

A fourth collection of stories by the award-winning author.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Exuberant. With her soul-stirring cry, Cooper urges readers to seize and savor every drop of life."
—San Francisco Chronicle

"These stories are jazzy, clubby, folksy, small towny, populist, perky, and if you don't like them, you must be in an absolutely unshakeable bad mood...Halfway between gossip and fairy tales, brimming with faith and high spirits, The Matter is Life clues us in on the lives of black women. Buy it. I loved it."
—Carolyn See, Los Angeles Times

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Cooper's exuberant talent, displayed so effectively in Family , is somewhat muted in this uneven collection of eight deceptively simple slice-of-life parables. In ``Vanity,'' a friend tells of the downfall of an egocentric beauty, whose passage from darling to victim is inadequately explained. Although Nona--the self-centered, superficial narrator of ``Friends Anyone?''--has a Ph.D. in psychology, she never understands why she is rejected by family and friends, even by Jana, the childhood pal who ends up raising the twins--one deaf, one blind--Nona conceived with Jana's fiance. In ``The Doras,'' the daughters of a poor black woman pursue her dreams and theirs, struggling along the way with poverty, prostitution and all kinds of abuse. Although the questions raised by these tales are important, the answers given are often trite. Sometimes overripe with symbolism, Cooper's trademark African-American dialect here makes it difficult to distinguish narrative voices. (July)
Library Journal
The first of eight stories in this collection focuses on a funeral but affirms life. Almost every speech uttered by the 90-year-old narrator contains the words, ``I ain't ready.'' Luxuriating in the love of her extensive family, she tells God and all the world that she is not ready to die. Later stories deal with poverty, abusive husbands, drug addiction, and prostitution, but even these grim situations yield nurturing down-home wisdom. Most of Cooper's first-person narrators are shrewd black women, and on occasion the stories suffer from sameness in plots, themes, and characters. Usually, however, they are touching without falling into sentimentality and totally honest without becoming crude.-- Albert E. Wilhelm, Tennessee Technological Univ., Cookeville
Carolyn See
These stories are jazzy, clubby, folksy, small towny, populist, perky, and if you don't like them, you must be in an absolutely unshakable bad mood….Halfway between gossip and fairytales, brimming with faith and high spirits, The Matter is Life clues us in on the lives of black women. Buy it. I loved it.
Los Angeles Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385411745
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/28/1992
Edition description:
1st Anchor Books Edition
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
343,332
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.52(d)

Customer Reviews

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Matter Is Life 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book years ago and found it to be a phenomenal read, as all of J. California Cooper's books are. Her books are real thorough and really take you into the character's life. Once you read one, you will definitely want to explore the others. Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Troy_Johnson More than 1 year ago
Anonymous reviews should not be allowed on B&N
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I usually enjoy J. California Cooper's books, but this was an extreme disappointment. The stories were flat.