Best of My Reviews….for “The Venice Apartment and Other Stories” and “Chiaroscuro…”

RE: The Venice Apartment and Other Stories:

“The style is sensual and full of beautiful images; the strong emotions produce an erotic charge in many of the stories….Think Margaret Atwood meets Roald Dahl for adults. It is very descriptive and light, easy to read and worth taking to the beach or an afternoon in the garden.” (Sarah Vanstone, Daily Information, Oxford)

“Erna Cooper (1995) has an individual voice and writes evocatively, conjuring up a succession of differentiated worlds in this enjoyable collection of stories. (James Morwood, Wadham College, Oxford Gazette, January, 2007). See “New Reviews 2007” for the rest.

“Erna’s writing, creative and scholarly, is a pleasure to read, and teaches me new things.” (Malcolm Bowie, author of Proust Among the Stars, former Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford and Master of Christ’s College, Cambridge University)

“A neo-Jamesian palette of quiet and disquieting ironies.” (Jayne Lewis, Professor of English, University of California, Irvine.)

“These short stories conjure such journeys and borrow from the realm of fables, myths, and artistic allusions, […] whether they visit Shakespearean legends, restless ghosts, Egyptian goddesses or the lovers of ‘Cacountala’. […]The story ‘Eureka’, however, stands apart as a keen-edged tale documenting the last conversation between a woman and her father. […] The scenes here are memorable and well crafted.” (Michelle Humprey, Women Writers, Spring 2007).

RE: Chiaroscuro: Aesthetics, Values and Autobiographical Elements in the Works of Willa Cather and Marguerite Duras:

“Relatively few postgraduates tackle such genuinely comparative topics as this, and for this reason alone Ms. Cooper’s enterprise is praiseworthy. She has a detailed acquaintance with the works of the authors themselves, and additionally a breadth of vision and wide range of cultural reference that make her capable of tackling on their own terms, and bringing together, these two rich writers. [. . .] She does not merely juxtapose Cather and Duras but maintains a convincing dialogue between them. [. . .] It is a sensitive, many-sided and perceptive piece of work, intuitive in the best sense…” (Alison Finch, formerly at Merton College, Oxford, Prof. of French, Churchill College, Cambridge & Prof. Alex Hughes, University of Birmingham.)