Book Reviews

The Venice Apartment and Other Stories (short story collection) has received positive reviews in the US (Women Writers) and England (Daily Information, The Wadham College, Oxford Gazette, Jan 2007). It is available at Barnes&,, Alibris, Trafford publishing and elsewhere. Varied ebook versions are available from and the eBookMall. Erna is now adapting several of these stories to full length and short subject films.
Check here for updates.

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.)

Happy 2007! New Reviews …

James Morwood’s review, at the Wadham College, Oxford Gazette (January 2007)is marvelous. Links to it will be provided shortly, directly via Wadham’s alumni publications page ( and via my publisher’s “Author’s Scrapbook”: Here is a bit of the review from my other arts web blog:

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

New Review of my Story Collection/Heartfelt Thanks…
Current mood: good


Good News:

The last review of my book The Venice Apartment and Other Stories (Vancouver/Oxford: Trafford, 2006) was published by the Wadham College, Oxford Gazette (distributed annually to Wadham alumni, which is unfair to others, so I’m adding bits, here, for friends and newcomers…). The review was written by James Morwood, who is an established British literary, theatre and music critic, Prof. of Classics and Dean of Wadham College. He is also a frequent contributor to the London Telegraph and the Bloomsbury Review.  Here are a few  lines that caught me by pleasant surprise:

“Erna Cooper (1995) has an individual voice and writes evocatively, conjuring up a succession of differentiated worlds in this enjoyable collection of stories. Henry James is clearly an important inspiration, with the assemblage of well-travelled figures in a various largely European — and atmospherically evoked — locations.  James too lies behind the supernatural element in some of the stories. The final tale is a first-class ghost story, with Oxford and Amsterdam locations fuelled with native American beliefs.” Elsewhere he adds: “I wonder whether the widely travelled Somerset Maugham may lie behind Cooper’s writing, as well,” and “The nightmare mother in ‘Cacountala’ brought irresistibly to my mind Jane Austen‘s Lady Catherine de Bourgh.” (James Morwood, Wadham College, Oxford Gazette, January, 2007)

The book is also on display and for sale, directly, at the London Book Fair (UK), from 16-18 April, 2007. The Trafford stand is at Earls Court, Level 2, #Z900. That’s S.W. London, just W. of Kensington. If you’re in London take the underground to “Earls Court-West Brompton Station”. 

…Cheers, Erna. 🙂