glbtq: an encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender & queer culture
social sciences
special features
about glbtq


   member name
   Forgot Your Password?  
Not a Member Yet?  

  Advertising Opportunities
  Permissions & Licensing
  Terms of Service
  Privacy Policy






Alpha Index:  A-B  C-F  G-K  L-Q  R-S  T-Z

Subjects:  A-B  C-E  F-L  M-Z

Cooper, Dennis (b. 1953)  
page: 1  2  3  

"Though the story is as compelling as it is perverse," wrote a reviewer for the Library Journal, "Cooper purposefully overrides it with an innovative style and raw, truthful character studies. There is a real elegance to the choppy waves of prose, which allow this work to transcend the form of the novel while working within it."

Cooper concluded his quintet of novels in 2000 with Period, a splintered tale of satanic sacrifice, gang rape, and nonchalant mutilation, which Publishers Weekly nonetheless called a "darkly comic ride through the looking glass of marginal youth culture." The novel also celebrates the return of the George Miles character.

As Cooper has explained, "The cycle doesn't so much end as collapse in on itself, and all that's left is a writer, his memories of a dead boy he loved, and the books that tried and failed to understand and express that love."

Other Works by Dennis Cooper

Cooper's post-George Miles Cycle novels include My Loose Thread (2002), a spare, dialogue-driven tale about a teenage boy struggling to understand his physical attraction to his younger brother. The Sluts (2004), concerning an online community that comments on a website dedicated to gay male escorts, was the recipient of the 2005 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men's Fiction. His most recent novel, God Jr. (2005), tells the story of the disintegration of a marriage in the wake of an adolescent boy's death.

Cooper is a highly prolific writer. His other works include the 1992 collection of short stories, Wrong. That same year, Cooper edited Discontents: New Queer Writers (1992). The Dream Police: Selected Poems, 1969-1993, a gathering of new and previously published poems, appeared in 1995.

He has also contributed articles and reviews for a variety of publications, including Art in America, Artforum, The Advocate, the Village Voice, and the rock music magazine Spin. A collection of these works, All Ears: Cultural Criticism, Essays, and Obituaries, also appeared in 1995.

He has coauthored two graphic novels: Jerk (1993), with Nayland Blake, and Horror Hospital Unplugged (1996), with Keith Mayerson.

In 2003, he founded the Little House on the Bowery imprint, which focuses on the works of young North American writers, for the independent publisher Akashic Books, and has since published works by Travis Jeppesen, Matthew Stokoe, and Derek McCormack, among others.

Since 2005, Cooper has been dividing his time between Los Angeles and Paris. While in Paris he has collaborated with the French theater director Gisèle Vienne and the composer Peter Rehberg on four theatrical works: I Apologize (2004), Une Belle Enfant Blonde (2005), Kindertotenlieder (2007), and a stage adaptation of his graphic novel, Jerk (2008).

Craig Kaczorowski

  <previous page   page: 1  2  3    

Contact Us
Join the Discussion
Related Entries
More Entries by this contributor
A Bibliography on this Topic

Citation Information
More Entries about Literature

   Related Entries
literature >> Overview:  American Literature: Gay Male, Post-Stonewall

After Stonewall, gay male literature became focused as a movement, aided by the development of gay newspapers, magazines, and quarterlies and the founding of serious gay and lesbian bookstores.

literature >> Overview:  Journalism and Publishing

The gay and lesbian press is of prime importance in sustaining a frequently embattled minority and has been crucial in the development of a national mass movement for gay rights.

literature >> Overview:  Poetry: Gay Male

The gay tradition in literature from ancient times to the present is primarily a tradition not of prose but of verse.

literature >> Overview:  Post-modernism

Post-modern theory has led to the problematizing of marginalized and "other" peoples and cultures and to viewing homosexuality as a social construction.

literature >> Overview:  Sadomasochistic Literature

Sadomasochistic literature, one of the most controversial forms of lesbian and gay writing, confronts such issues as domination, submission, uniformity, and humiliation and poses a constant challenge to them.

arts >> Blake, Nayland

Versatile African-American artist Nayland Blake creates--in a variety of media--work that reflects his preoccupation with his racial and sexual identities.

literature >> Ellis, Bret Easton

Perhaps the most accomplished of the "Generation X" writers, Bret Easton Ellis creates works distinguished by transgressive themes, a fascination with popular culture, and a spare but resonant prose style.

literature >> Palahniuk, Chuck

Chuck Palahniuk is known for a series of popular and provocative novels; although he has acknowledged his homosexuality, he resists being labeled as a "gay author."

literature >> Picano, Felice

Prolific author Felice Picano, a founding member of the Violet Quill, is also a pioneer in gay publishing, having founded two publishing houses.

literature >> Purdy, James

James Purdy's novels often describe obsessive love between men for whom homosexuality is unthinkable and whose fate is inevitably bleak.

social sciences >> Queer Nation

The short-lived militant group Queer Nation, which emerged in 1990, made a lasting impact on sexual identity politics in the United States.

literature >> Rimbaud, Arthur

Because his writing stresses liberation, the French "boy-poet" Arthur Rimbaud, whose art is based solely on his individual creativity, is a progenitor of modern gay poetics.

literature >> Russell, Paul

Known for his intricate narratives and eloquent prose style, novelist Paul Russell creates works that focus on the sexual and emotional complexities of gay male relationships, especially those that cross generations.

literature >> Sade, Marquis de

Whether or not the Marquis de Sade was himself bisexual, homosexual activity is an important item in his program of revolutionary sexual libertinism.

literature >> White, Edmund

One of the most prominent and highly acclaimed figures of contemporary gay literature, Edmund White works in many distinct categories of fiction and nonfiction.


Bahr, David. "Hannibal Lecture." The Advocate (May 9, 2000): 88.

Barnhardt, Wilton. "Snuff Fiction." Harper's Magazine (February 2001): 78.

Canning, Richard. Hear Us Out: Conversations with Gay Novelists. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003.

Jackson, Earl, Jr. "Dennis Cooper." Contemporary Gay American Novelists: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook. Emmanuel S. Nelson, ed. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1993. 77.

Lev, Leora, ed. Enter at Your Own Risk: The Dangerous Art of Dennis Cooper. Madison, N. J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2006.

Reitz, Daniel. "The Salon Interview: Dennis Cooper." (May 4, 2000):

Texier, Catherine. "Love among the Damned." New York Times Book Review (March 20, 1994): 17.

Woodhouse, Reed. Unlimited Embrace. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1998.


    Citation Information
    Author: Kaczorowski, Craig  
    Entry Title: Cooper, Dennis  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2008  
    Date Last Updated April 16, 2008  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2008 glbtq, Inc.  


This Entry Copyright © 2008 glbtq, Inc. is produced by glbtq, Inc., 1130 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL   60607 glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.
Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.