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literature

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Cooper, Dennis (b. 1953)  
 
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"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.

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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

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    Bibliography
   

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." Salon.com (May 4, 2000): http://www.salon.com/people/feature/2000/05/04/cooper

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 www.glbtq.com/literature/cooper_d.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2008 glbtq, Inc.  
 

 

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