University Hosts Q&A with Renowned Author Bernard Cooper

By Rajaa Elidrissi, Staff Writer
Thursday, November 8, 2012

On Wednesday, Nov. 7, Bernard Cooper, a well-known author, visited the University and held a question and answer session based on his work and excerpts that he read during his visit. Cooper’s literary works include three memoirs, “The Bill from My Father,” “Truth Serum,” and “Maps to Anywhere.” In addition to his memoirs, he wrote the novel “A Year of Rhymes,” and a collection of short stories called “Guess Again.” His writing has also been published in renowned publications, such as Harper’s and The New York Times Magazine.

Cooper began the session by reading an excerpt from his memoir “The Bill from My Father.” The section he read discusses the premise of the memoir, which was Cooper’s reaction when he received an invoice from his father asking him to repay him for raising him since childhood. The excerpt discusses Cooper’s thought processes as he opened and read the envelope and his attempt to understand why his father did this.

“The book was a way to understand what drove him to do it and humanize it in a certain way,” Cooper said.

Afterward, Cooper read a passage from his upcoming memoir. According to the passage, the memoir is about dealing with his new life in New York while attending Manhattan’s School of Visual Arts. He mentioned his experiences regarding his homosexuality and his adjustment to his college’s method of teaching students. This is also where Cooper found his passion for avant-garde art, or art that is experimental in nature.

Later on, Cooper discussed his upcoming published works in a Los Angeles art critique magazine. He said that his choice to write for the magazine stemmed not only from his enthusiasm for art but also from his desire to share his view on art with the magazine’s readership.

Cooper’s literary work earned him various prestigious awards, such as the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Award and an O. Henry Prize, as well as fellowships sponsored by the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Information on Cooper’s upcoming work can be found at barclayagency.com/cooper.html.