David Cooper

David Cooper is a poet, translator, book reviewer, and journalist. His translation of Israeli poet Rachel Eshed’s book, Little Promises, is published in a bilingual edition by Mayapple Press. In its Hebrew original, this collection of intense erotic poetry won the 1992 AKUM prize in Israel. His translation of one of the poems in Little Promises was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Novelist Tsipi Keller says, ”It is hard to speak of Rachel Eshed’s poetry without mentioning ‘fire:’ her poems virtually burn on the page, and David Cooper’s renditions not only do justice to the the original but magnify its richness.”

You can download pdf files of his two poetry collections, Glued to the Sky and JFK: Lines of Fire (PulpBits, 2003) on his website.

He also covers the NY Jewish Culture beat for examiner.com and is compiling an archive of oral histories of Jewish-American marriages. A selection of these oral histories will be published in a form yet to be determined as I Am My Beloved’s, a collection of interviews and photographs of Jewish-American couples that explores the intersection of each couple’s identities as a couple and as Jews and will reflect the diversity of the Jewish-American community.

Books by David Cooper

Book Reviews by David Cooper

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Orly Castel-Bloom is best known for her 1992 (2010 in English translation) dystopian darkly satirical post-modern science fiction novel Dolly City (also reviewed in NYJB), which has been i

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After two novels in French Camille Bordas’ first novel in English is a bittersweet gem with wise, witty, and charming appeal.

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For the past two decades Israeli companies have dominated the moving industry in New York City, and the sight of Israeli men in their early 20s loading furniture and belongings onto or off of truck

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“like a sonnet whose beautiful lines are undermined by its flawed argument.”

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When novelist Rhoda Lerman died in 2015 her New York Times obituary described her novels as not resembling one another.

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When Pete Townsend coined the phrase “teenage wasteland” to describe suburban adolescent life he was probably not referring to such wastelands in an actual geographic desert, but that is what the s

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Ayelet Gundar-Goshen’s (One Night, Markovitch) second novel Waking Lions starts as a moral drama in its first 14 chapters and becomes a suspenseful crime thriller in its final 11.

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“Listen up, Netanya baby! We’re gonna throw down the mother of all shows tonight . . . Yeah, open up that hook, table ten, set ’em free . . . there you go!”

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Healing is a theme that pervades Aharon Appelfeld’s prolific fiction (Blooms of Darkness; Until the Dawn’s Light; and Suddenly, Love; all reviewed on NYJB) and challenges his Shoa

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After two novellas translated into English (Nowhere to be Found, 2015 and A Greater Music, 2016, the latter reviewed in NYJB) South Korean post-modernist fiction writer Bae Suah a

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“For Oz’s fans and liberal Zionist fiction readers Judas is a required text whose writing is its own reward.”

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In today’s Internet connected global culture literature is written by authors who do not necessarily reside in the countries of their birth and read by readers worldwide.

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Is a proclivity to violence and vengeance a gender and/or regional trait? Are the minds of men more than women and/or rural folk more than city dwellers predisposed to violent acts of revenge?

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An eighteen-year-old Jewish Bostonian from a wealthy family gives birth out of wedlock in 1917 at her uncle’s house in Cape Ann.

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In eastern Persia a couple of millennia ago an earthquake buries a fictional city that legend has it was inhabited by descendants of the ten lost northern tribes of ancient Israel.

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A decade ago Israeli novelist A. B. Yehoshua caused a public brouhaha that highlighted a hitherto overlooked fault line in Israeli-diaspora relations.

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“a fun and absorbing read whose fortuitous May publication date makes it a felicitous beach or airplane book.”

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Life threatening crises and their attendant extreme circumstances can bring out the best or the worst in moral character and individual conduct; sometimes they evoke both.

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Can a novel be both suspenseful and predictable? Less than half way through Jennifer S.

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Location, location, location—geography can determine not only the cost of our homes but also where we feel at home.

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In his second novel, Don’t Let My Baby Do Rodeo, Boris Fishman continues his exploration of immigration, acculturation, and assimilation among Russian speaking Jewish immigrants i

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On the evidence of A Room (Kheder in Hebrew), the second of its author’s four fiction books and the first to be translated into English, Youval Shimoni is a writer’s writer whose

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“[a] fine novel that educates and entertains.”

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William Gass is known and admired as a writer’s writer for his handsome, challenging, and experimental prose and as a misanthrope for his tendency to focus on his characters’ moral shortcomings.

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Immigration is often associated with economic opportunity and upward mobility, but frequently immigration results in loss of status and, for the immigrants themselves, downward mobility.

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Three-dimensional chess barely conveys the multiple levels, breadth, and ambition that comprise Book of Numbers, Joshua Cohen’s epic of the Internet age and fourth novel.

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The Festival of Insignificance, 86 year old Czech-French writer Milan Kundera’s new and possibly last work of fiction after a 13-year hiatus, presents many of the features—a thin plot and

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a funny, entertaining, lightweight highbrow novel . . .

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“a fully realized and mature work of fiction . . .”

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[a] powerful and compelling novel.

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“recommended to readers who enjoy interior prose and psychological literary fiction.”

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There are books that make us feel intensely and others that make us think deeply; one that does both is Gail Hareven’s opalescent and psychologically complex eleventh novel Lies, First Person

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“. . .

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The Hilltop is recommended to all readers who enjoy a good story grounded in current events.”

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The Betrayers succeeds by combining thought provoking ethical dilemmas with dramatic tension in an engaging prose style and is enthusiastically recommended.”

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The Angel of Losses is recommended to nerdy (in the best sense of the word) secular Jewish and philo-Semitic readers whose genre interests include the confluence of contemporary a

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“The poems in this selection written in Tuvia Ruebner’s ninth decade show no decline in the power and skill he demonstrated earlier. At 90 he is still writing . . .”

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“Though not Appelfeld’s best work, Suddenly, Love despite its deceptive simplicity offers much food for thought and would be a good choice for book groups.”

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“It is probably not fair to compare C. K.

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“David Grand’s third novel, Mount Terminus, is written in luscious, erudite prose so dense his readers have no choice but to read it slowly.”

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“As moving as are each of these expressions of grief the cumulative effect of Falling Out of Time‘s nearly 200 pages is even more powerful.

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Mannequin Girl is a welcome addition to the coming of age genre that will appeal both to adult readers and to precocious teenagers.”

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“. . . both bittersweet and disturbing . . .”

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Leaving the Sea is recommended to serious readers . . .”

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“. . . readers prone to depression might consider acquiring a prescription for antidepressant medication before attempting to read The Remains of Love.”

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“. . . one gorgeous book . . . like attending a museum exhibition in the comfort of one’s own home.”

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“. . . a promising debut . . .”

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Eighty-five year old writer Lore Segal’s new novel Half the Kingdom is a darkly humorous yet unflinching look at the frustrations and indignities that accompany old age and at the relation

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Imagine a remake of the movie The Big Chill in which instead of a cast of thirtysomethings the characters are middle-aged college friends who have gathered after a quarter century for the

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“. . . enthusiastically recommended . . .”

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David Ehrlich’s short stories, some of which describe the lives of both openly identified and closeted Israeli gay men, are sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and sometimes both.

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“. . . cautiously recommended . . .”

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Claudia Silver to the Rescue would also make a terrific movie or television comedy,”

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“Jacob’s Folly is well written, humorous, and entertaining.“

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“. . . narrated in gorgeous, elegiac prose . . . a very enjoyable and strongly recommended read. . . .

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“A writer takes earnest measures to secure his solitude and then finds endless ways to squander it.”
—Don Delillo

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“The Golem and the Jinni is recommended to adults who enjoy a good story and have a childlike sense of make-believe.”

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“Middle C is recommended to readers who enjoy prose gymnastics, postmodern fiction, and experimental juxtapositions of style and form.”

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For more than half a century most mainstream, accessible, non-experimental, American poetry has been autobiographical.

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“Kin will leave readers hoping more of Mr. Burstein’s books will be translated and published in English.”

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“The Middlesteins will appeal to middlebrow readers . . .”

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The Canvas is an engaging read guardedly recommended to psychological mystery enthusiasts . . .”

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“. . . recommended to Mr. Kiš’ admirers as well as to all readers of Eastern European literature in translation and of short form fiction.”

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“. . . a highly inventive, imaginative, and partly autobiographical account of bohemian life . . .”

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“. . . heroic yet ethically complex characters and a simple plot.”

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“Office Girl’s target readership, like its characters, are legally adults—even though some may still be growing up.”

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“. . . an engaging, rewarding, and sometimes lyrical search for a lost time.”

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“Left-Handed: Poems is strongly recommended to all poetry lovers and to all readers who find they must radically change their lives in order to live more authentically.”

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“Kudos to translator Antony Shagaar for his superb job of rendering Mr. De Silva’s Italian into colloquial contemporary American English.”

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Stieg Larsson may have believed Sweden was infected with sinister conspiracies, but Nikanor Teratologen fears the evildoers probably live openly right next door.

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“Ben Marcus was already known as a daring, experimental writer’s writer on the strength of his three previous books of fiction.

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“The Break is reminiscent of Italian neo-realist cinema of the late 1940s and is enthusiastically recommended to all readers.

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“Because Underground Time’s prose largely lacks the delicious density of the best literary fiction in translation, it appears to target a middlebrow readership.

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“At barely more than 100 small (four and a half by seven inch) pages in Andrew Bromfield’s excellent English translation The Hall of the Singing Caryatids succeeds both as a novell

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Something is not right in Tel Ilan, the fictional Israeli village set in the Manasseh Hills (probably in the general vicinity of Rishon L’Tzion) in which the first seven of the eight stories in

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“This review’s brief synopsis cannot possibly convey the novel’s wealth of detail and interconnected plot elements that demand attentive reading. . . .

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“Toward the end of the novel there is a gutsy shift in narrative tone that lends the ending a sense of closure.

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“. . . a plot-driven novel conveyed in crisp, descriptive, and thought-provoking prose via an engagingly intelligent third-person narrator. . . . an auspicious debut.”

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“‘Every new piece of information keeps me on the road to the ever-expanding possibility of the quest, a quest that in the end will still yield only partial knowledge—and will never give me,

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“. . . the entire poetic oeuvre of Israeli poet, feminist, and peace activist Dahlia Ravikovitch . . .”

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“This ironic and absurdist highbrow little sex novel is a hoot. . . . Mr.

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“Looking for an anthology of erotic texts to accompany masturbation? Look elsewhere.”

Looking for an anthology of erotic texts to accompany masturbation? Look elsewhere.

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Haley Tanner’s debut novel, Vaclav and Lena, captures the slow, methodical thought processes of young children, the awkward diction of non-English speaking immigrants, and the hearts of it

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The 2011 air war to save civilian lives that our country and its NATO allies are conducting in Libya is not without precedent.

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The publication of this physically small book puts Canadian poet and songwriter Leonard Cohen in the company of the most beloved poets in the English language.

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The title poem in Jennifer Grotz’s second book, a poem placed before its three sections, opens with an epigraph from Samuel Daniel, “When your eyes have done their part/Thought must length it in th

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When W. S. Merwin’s term as Poet Laureate of the United States expires this summer I dare Librarian of Congress Billington, and double dare President Obama, to appoint Marge Piercy to the post.

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Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels is Kevin Young’s powerful verse account of the 1839 mutiny of Mendi-speaking kidnap victims from Sierra Leone.

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This strong and varied anthology deserves a different title, one whose first part will not be confused with Geraldine Brooks’ novel of the same name.

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The Cosmopolitans, Nadia Kalman’s smart, funny, wise, and entertaining debut novel explores the relationships and dynamics of a contemporary Russian-Jewish immigrant family from the former

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In the Hebrew edition of Yael Hedaya’s novel Eden the second of three chapters named for the character Dafna begins with the following paragraph:

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Reading Kenneth Wishnia’s new novel The Fifth Servant has been the most fun this reviewer’s had reading any book since Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao two years

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The edition of Siegfried Follies by Richard Alther that this reviewer recently read could use a thorough revision.

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The title of Millicent Borges Accardi’s poetry chapbook, Woman on a Shaky Bridge, does not come from any of the lines of the 16 poems in this collection but rather from its preface, which

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At the outset of this review this reviewer should confess his prejudices: he is a fan of C. K. Williams.

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There are probably tens of thousands of Americans whose parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents were members of the Communist Party and its affiliated organizations in the nineteen twenties, t

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Marcel Möring’s In a Dark Wood is a highly literary, imaginative, and experimental novel that explores large themes—including Jewish identity after the Holocaust and the search for meaning

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Think back to your childhood friendships. Did you ever do or say anything that resulted in the death of a childhood friend? In K. D.

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