Some Soul to Keep
A Short Story Collection
by J. California Cooper
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Pub Date 11 Jun 2024 | Archive Date 25 Jun 2024
St. Martin's Press, St. Martin's Griffin
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 4 members
J. California Cooper's "Some Soul to Keep" is a timeless collection of four short stories that encapsulate the essence of struggle and redemption. With an exuberant and heart-warming narrative, Cooper emerges as a true storyteller, reminiscent of the simple folk tradition in black writing, often associated with literary greats like Zora Neale Hurston.
The strength of Cooper's storytelling lies in her ability to create characters that captivate the reader's interest by navigating through the complexities of tragedy and triumph over oppressive circumstances. The narratives are so vivid and compelling that the characters practically leap off the page, bringing to life the stories of simple people, families, fate, love, marriage, death, and the indomitable triumph of the human spirit.
One of the remarkable features of "Some Soul to Keep" is Cooper's mastery in crafting a setting that is both universal and timeless. Despite the absence of specific details about the city or year, the characters and their environments are palpable and relatable. Cooper's transparent clarity and high-spirited energy infuse the stories with an enduring quality, making them resonate with readers across different times and places.
The collection is a testament to J. California Cooper's literary prowess, evident in her recognition as Black Playwright of the Year and her receipt of prestigious awards such as the American Book Award, James Baldwin Writing Award, and the Literary Lion Award from the American Library Association. The author's ability to delve into the intricacies of black family life in rural and small-town America adds depth and authenticity to her work, making "Some Soul to Keep" a standout in her impressive body of literature.
In a world where the human experience is vast and diverse, J. California Cooper's stories serve as a mirror reflecting the energies of life itself. "Some Soul to Keep" is not just a collection of tales; it is a celebration of black love, a homage to the enduring human spirit, and a testament to the power of storytelling to heal and inspire. As the book prepares for re-release, it is destined to continue leaving an indelible mark on readers, reaffirming J. California Cooper's legacy as a masterful storyteller. In 2014 we lost a literary giant.