Family by J. California Cooper audiobook

Family: A Novel

By J. California Cooper
Read by Janina Edwards

Blackstone Publishing 9780385411721
4.71 Hours 1
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In this beautifuly textured first novel by the author of the acclaimed short story collection Homemade Love, the history of one slave family becomes symbolic for all slaves and slaveholders. Family is a stunning, often painfully graphic re-creation of the realities of slavery: black women raped by white masters; black children sold to sustain failing plantations—or to satisfy the whims of a petulant mistress; strong men humiliated, whipped, and beaten because of the color of their skin. But it is also the triumphant story of a mother whose loving spirit transcends the barriers of death and time, allowing her to watch over her children and her children’s children. In simple, hauntingly poetic language, the slave Clora, who killed herself to escape an unbearable existence, recounts the “grief and misery that is soul and core of the life of a slave” and follows her children as they experience the joys and challenges of emancipation, create new lives for themselves and their families in the postwar South, in northern cities, and abroad, and hold fast to their dreams and their faith as they confront the fear and hatred that permeates their world.

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Summary

Summary

In this beautifuly textured first novel by the author of the acclaimed short story collection Homemade Love, the history of one slave family becomes symbolic for all slaves and slaveholders.

Family is a stunning, often painfully graphic re-creation of the realities of slavery: black women raped by white masters; black children sold to sustain failing plantations—or to satisfy the whims of a petulant mistress; strong men humiliated, whipped, and beaten because of the color of their skin. But it is also the triumphant story of a mother whose loving spirit transcends the barriers of death and time, allowing her to watch over her children and her children’s children.

In simple, hauntingly poetic language, the slave Clora, who killed herself to escape an unbearable existence, recounts the “grief and misery that is soul and core of the life of a slave” and follows her children as they experience the joys and challenges of emancipation, create new lives for themselves and their families in the postwar South, in northern cities, and abroad, and hold fast to their dreams and their faith as they confront the fear and hatred that permeates their world.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“With power and grace, Cooper weaves the dialect, style, and myths of the South into a portrait of the hell that was slavery.” Publishers Weekly
“Family is a pleasure to read. What might have been a much darker, angry book is refreshingly hopeful…and honest in its acknowledgment that good and bad may be found in almost everyone and every situation.” Belles Lettres
“Many novels have been written about slavery, but this one is original, stirring, vividly personal, and painfully intense.” Los Angeles Times
“What a voice…Cooper celebrates family, freedom, perseverance, life, and…powerful voices finally heard.” Atlanta Constitution
“A celebration of language, and of the indomitability of the human spirit…Family is a beautiful piece of writing, pulsing almost operatically with cadence, poetry, and power.” West Coast Review of Books
“What most distinguishes Family…is its persistent affirmation of the power of the human spirit to do battle with evil—and to win, even if only for a while…It has a compelling voice.” Chicago Tribune
“Cooper whips up a fascinating tale.” Detroit Free Press
“Mesmerizing…Cooper weaves four wry, humorous, tragic tales that envelop and transcend time, offering hope and renewal at the same time they chronicle desolation and death.” San Francisco Chronicle
“The sort of book that ought to be read out loud. Both eerie and saddening, [and] filled with tragedies, it is also about survival. In its strong rhythms and colloquial expression, this book is a living woman’s monologue.” New York Times

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: J. California Cooper

Author Bio: J. California Cooper

J. California Cooper (1931–2014) first found acclaim as a playwright. The author of seventeen plays, she was named Black Playwright of the Year in 1978. It was through her work in the theater that she caught the attention of acclaimed poet and novelist Alice Walker. Encouraged by Walker to turn her popular storytelling skills to fiction, Cooper wrote her first collection of short stories, A Piece of Mine, in 1984. Two more story collections followed, and in 1986 came Homemade Love, which won an American Book Award.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction
Runtime: 4.71
Audience: Adult
Language: English