The Bill From My Father: Bernard Cooper

Bernard Cooper, award winning memoirist, novelist, and short story writer, will read from his recent work The Bill From My Father: A Memoir on February 3 at noon in Scripps College’s Hampton Room of the Malott Commons as part of the Tuesday Noon Academy speaker series. The event is free and open to the public.

With razor-sharp wit and unsparing honesty, Cooper peels back layers of the familiar, exposing the surprising truths that shape our lives. Growing up gay and middle class in Los Angeles in the 1950s and 60s, sexuality, familial relationships, loss, and AIDS are among his primary subjects. Through them, he expresses his deepest concern: how the writer explores identity by traveling the terrain of memory.

Cooper has two collections of memoirs, Maps to Anywhere and Truth Serum; a novel, A Year of Rhymes; and a collection of short stories, Guess Again. His writing has appeared in Story, Ploughshares, Harper’s, The Paris Review, The New York Times Magazine, and in anthologies such as The Best American Essays, and The Oxford Book of Literature on Aging, and the Library of America’s Writing Los Angeles. His most recent work, The Bill From My Father: A Memoir, published in 2007, is currently being made into a Warner Brothers film by director Dean Parisot.

Cooper has received the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Award, an O. Henry Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Praise comes from fellow writers, such as Tony Kusher: “Reading Cooper is like reading Chekhov, he’s really that good.” David Sedaris observes: “Funny but not jokey, moral but not preachy, Bernard Cooper’s stories reflect a great sense of humor and a bottomless reserve of humanity,” and Publisher’s Weekly notes: “Cooper’s love for his characters is evident in their self-deprecating humor and the poetic imagery of his writing.”