In Search of Satisfaction by J. California Cooper

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The folk flavor of her storytelling has earned her  constant comparison to Langston Hughes and Zora  Neale Hurston, but through four collections of  short stories and two novels, J. California Cooper  has proven that hers is a wholly original talent  --one that embraces readers in an ever-widening  circle from one book to the next. With In  Search Of Satisfaction, Cooper  gracefully portrays men and women, some good and others  wickedly twisted, caught in their individual  thickets of want and need. On a once-grand plantation  in Yoville, "a legal town-ship founded by the  very rich for their own personal use," a  freed slave named Josephus fathers two daughters,  Ruth and Yinyang, by two different women. His  desire, to give Yinyang and himself money and  opportunities, oozes through the family like an elixir,  melding with the equally strong yearnings of  Yoville's other residents, whose tastes don't  complement their neighbors'. What Josephus buries in his  life affects generations to come. J. California  Cooper's unfettered view of sin, forgiveness, and  redemption gives In Search Of  Satisfaction a singular richness that belies its  universal themes.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About J. California Cooper

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J. CALIFORNIA COOPER is the author of the novels Family and In Search of Satisfaction, and of several short-story collections: Homemade Love, the winner of the 1989 American Book Award; A Piece of Mine; The Future Has a Past; Some Love, Some Pain, Sometime; The Matter Is Life; and Some Soul to Keep. She is also the author of seventeen plays and has been honored as Black Playwright of the Year. She lives in northern California.
Published December 29, 2010 by Anchor. 370 pages
Genres: History, Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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After Yinyang discovers her mother's hidden stash of gold, Josephus steals it and buries half in the ground, then Josephus and Yinyang leave together and he dies shortly afterward, but not before giving her some gold coins.

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Publishers Weekly

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Cooper details a family saga in which two half-sisters attempt to come to grips with their father's legacy.

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Publishers Weekly

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There, this preachy intergenerational saga traces the intersecting lives of two families of wealthy white landowners, the Krupts and the Befoes, and the descendants of Josephus Josephus, a former slave who's the lover of the perpetually drunk Krupt matriarch, Victoria.

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Los Angeles Times

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Whenever Cooper gets heavy (as she frequently does when she makes Christian pronouncements on her morally confused cast of characters), Satan pops up like a whimsical Greek chorus, a Southern-style Puck who lingers at the edges of the tale, biding time, waiting for opportunities to create mischief.

Oct 14 1994 | Read Full Review of In Search of Satisfaction

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