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Desiree Cooper Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Know the Mother (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Desiree Cooper is Pulitzer-prize nominated journalist that has garnered a reputation for her work in literary fiction and poetry. Cooper loves to explore issues of race and sexism.

+Biography

Desiree Cooper has done more traveling than most, primarily because her father was in the Air Force and his position took him all over the world. Desiree was born in Itazuke which is in Japan. Despite spending nine years in the country, Desiree Cooper never learned Japanese.

She knows all the basic phrases and she can sing Japanese nursery rhymes but she cannot hold a conversation. Not that it ever bothered the author. Her father’s job meant that the family was always on the move.

Born to parents who had known each other since they were kids and, thus, enjoyed a really strong marriage, Desiree has always considered Virginia to be her home.

She identifies with the state because her parents grew up in a small town in Central Virginia. The fact that she has never spent that much time in Virginia has never dimmed her love for it. Her opportunity to really bond with the place came in 1966 when her father sent Desiree and her mother to his hometown of Waverly after he was posted to Thailand during the Vietnam War.

Desiree had no reason to enjoy the experience. Following her father around the world typically meant that she was usually the only black person around. In coming back to the United States, that situation did not change. For the duration of her stay in Waverly, the author’s movements were largely restricted to her grandmother’s house.

Despite the complete racial segregation she had to endure, Desiree remembers experiencing a time of complete bliss.

Despite the general instability of her life, Desiree Cooper grew into a responsible young lady who studied law, met her husband during her college years, graduated, got married and began practicing law in Detroit.

The only hiccup that Desiree Cooper encountered during those years was her pregnancy. At the age of 27, the author decided that it was time to start building their family. While she thought she knew what to expect, the changes her body went through shocked her, this including the months of morning sickness.

Desiree Cooper was quickly forced to abandon the carefree life she had nurtured, no longer able to work twelve hour days, party late and work early in the morning. Even watching scary movies, which she loved, took on a more sinister meaning for the author when she realized that she was no longer comfortable watching such grotesque images while pregnant.

Not only did Desiree’s work suffer but the actual birth was hardly the beautiful miracle she hoped it would be. The author’s first child came into the world in 1987 and she has described the experience as traumatic.

She was so thoroughly shaken by the birth that she didn’t even want to touch her son once he was finally born. Desiree has since put those experiences behind, though not the lessons they taught her.

Desiree has used her experiences as a pregnant woman and the manner in which she was treated to write her poems and fictional tales. The desire to write has followed Desiree Cooper around since she was a child.

Novels were her constant companion during those early years. She loved being drawn into imaginative worlds and losing herself to a great story. After she began practicing law, it seemed like the door to her writing dreams had finally begun to close.

However, Desiree Cooper didn’t stay in the legal field. She abandoned it for journalism, eventually landing a job as a columnist. The change in career seemed to set Desiree on fire, creating in her a desire to craft complex stories. It often sidetracked her from the columns she was supposed to be producing.

Studying poetry was crucial to Desiree’s abilities as a writer because the field helped her learn to focus her attention and to unveil complicated stories using the fewest words possible. Unlike the law, Desiree did not choose to leave journalism.

Rather, she was fired from her job. However, the loss did not keep her down. Desiree began putting her creative writing skills to good use, skills she had developed and nurtured as a journalist.

It wasn’t long before the author got into flash fiction, a genre where stories are told within a thousand words or even less. Anyone else might have found the challenge daunting. However, Desiree Cooper’s journalism experience had taught her how to condense complex narrative into small spaces.

Since leaving journalism, Desiree has written a lot of essays. Some of them can be seen in collections like ‘Best African American Fiction 2010’. Desiree writes a lot about women and the roles they play in life. It is a world that she understands and it is where her passions lie.

The author writes a lot about what she has experienced and what she has learned from talking to other women, especially those in her family.

Desiree also has a lot to say about the issue of race in the United States. She isn’t amused by the attitudes her children hold with regards to race and she is even less amused by the fact that the country in which she lives is responsible for fostering those negative attitudes.

Desiree Cooper’s stories reflect the desperation she sometimes feels about the situation in her country. The author tends to speak louder about sexism than racism, mostly because Desiree know she can always find protection from racism within the confines of her family but there is no hiding from sexism, not even from those closest to her.

+Know the Mother

This is a collection of stories from Desiree Cooper that reveal the destructive impact racism and sexism can have especially when they crop up in family life. The stories look at the lives of women in different situations and the challenges and heartaches they suffer as a result of their unique positions as women.

Desiree attempts to tackle the idea of gender roles in America and how they affect race. Desiree believes that most women are likely to see themselves reflected in at least one of the women that she writes about.

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