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Selected from the range of Cooper's essays and reportage in Artforum, Bookforum, Detour, Interview, LA Weekly, Spin, and the Village Voice, among other publications, Smothered in Hugs presents the best nonfiction of one of America's greatest writers. Cooper has written on grave social issues, producing touchstone pieces for a generation of readers. His obituaries for Kurt Cobain, River Phoenix, and William S. Burroughs offer portraits that are both crystallizing and appropriately indefinite. His reckonings of contemporary writers are astute and unsparing. And, of course, he serves as witness to the work and play of an illustrious roster of cultural personalitiesand does so with an acuity and fairness missing from most pop culture criticism.
“Cooper delivers with the unswerving faith of someone who lives and dies by his gut reactions but also with the methodical intelligence of someone who parses those reactions so he can articulate them to the sharpest degree.”
-Los Angeles Times
“Even when he steps away from the transgressive, taboo subject matter on which he made his reputation, Cooper’s outsider perspective and cold, hard, practically violent stare remains hypnotic.”
-San Francisco Chronicle
“It’s a joy to watch Cooper’s mind at work.”
-Time Out Chicago
“The pieces...show facets of Cooper’s particular genius you don’t see in his formally and thematically controlled fiction....More than anything, Smothered in Hugs will send you out into the world—to the bookstore, record store, art gallery, library—in search of the lost classics Cooper so excitedly introduces.”
“The best kind of critic.”
“There’s a stainless steel sheen to Cooper’s sentences that is as admirable as anything this side of Didion.”