Updated site coming in early 2017.
Updated site coming in early 2017.
September 2-4 2016: Morges Literary Festival, Morges, Switzerland.
September 8-11 2016: Festival America, Vincennes/Paris, France.
September 15-17: L’ Amerique a Oron, Switzerland.
September 18: Besancon Music Festival, Besancon, France.
October 5: Librairie Lucioles, Vienne, France ( with Donald Ray Pollock, author of Devil All the Time and The Heavenly Table).
More to come.
If you’re in the neighborhood, please stop by and say hello!
The Marauders has won the Crooks Corner third annual book prize for best debut novel set in the south.
Says the Crooks Corner website, “Crook’s Corner is an iconic restaurant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, long a keystone in the pantheon of contemporary Southern cuisine. The Book Prize was inspired not only by the literary tradition of the American South but also by the famous literary cafés of Paris. The Deux Magots, the Flore, and Brasserie Lipp, for example, have for many years awarded prestigious writers’ prizes.”
The final judge for the 2016 prize was the superlative and beloved author Lee Smith. Said Lee Smith of The Marauders, “Writing like some dark angel, Tom Cooper has fashioned a wildly original turn in the deep, weird South. Scenes crackle. I was reminded of Flannery O’Connor. Even the most depraved characters are portrayed with a deep humanity, while mordant hilarity infuses all. At one point I ran upstairs and finished reading a chapter while I was in the middle of giving a dinner party! That is certainly something I’ve never done before.”
I wish to thank the good people of Chapel Hill, and all who attended and participated in the award ceremony. I can’t imagine warmer hospitality. And what a way to begin the new year.
The Marauders, now in paperback, is popping up on several best-of 2015 lists, most recently in Wall Street Journal: http://graphics.wsj.com/best-books-2015/#Mystery
Several 2016 events are being scheduled, among them:
January 4, 2016: Crook’s Corner Cafe and Bar, 5:30-7:30 Chapel Hill, NC.
January/February: Orange Beach, Alabama. Friends of the Library Author of the Year Award. More info forthcoming.
May 14-16 2016:Etonnants Voyageurs Film and Literature Festival, Saint-Malo, Brittany.
September 8-11 2016: Festival America, Vincennes/Paris.
Other European dates and events to follow.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year,
AudioFile Magazine has given the audio book of The Marauders its highest recommendation, naming it an Earphones Award Winner. Says the magazine, “Narrator P.J. Ochlan portrays several characters as their stories converge in a Louisiana bayou in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill. The story is excellent on its own–add a top-notch narration, and it’s something special. Ochlan nails both the accents and the personalities of the oddballs, pillheads, and rip-off artists who live in Jeannette, just another Louisiana shrimping town devastated by nature and man. He believably renders psychotic twins, a teenager, and a one-armed treasure hunter with an affinity for knock-knock jokes. Ochlan’s performance is a huge win for listeners. G.S.D. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.”
October 9-11, 2015: Nashville, Southern Festival of Books. More info forthcoming.
Halloween, October 31, 2015: Baton Rouge, LA. Louisiana Book Festival. More info forthcoming.
These are all Q & A’s and audience participation, with occasional signings. I usually don’t schedule public readings except in rare circumstances.
The Marauders, my first novel, will be published in the US, France, Italy, Holland, Brazil, Germany, and the Czech Republic this year.
US release date: February 3, 2015, Random House/Crown.
France release date: TBA, 2015, Les Editions Albin Michel, Paris.
Holland release date: TBA, 2015, Publisher Q, Amsterdam.
Italy release date: TBA, 2015, De Agostini, Milan.
Brazil release date: TBA, 2015, Rocco Ltda., Rio de Janeiro.
Germany release date: TBA, 2015, Ullstein Verlag, Berlin.
Czech Republic release date: TBA, 2015, Euromedia, Czech Republic.
When the BP oil spill devastates the waters of the Louisiana Gulf Coast, the citizens of the little bayou town of Jeanette scrabble desperately to replace their lost livelihoods. Among them is one-armed, pill-popping shrimper Gus Lindquist, who has nothing left to cling onto but the dying glimmer of a boyhood dream: finding the lost treasure of pirate Jean Lafitte. Like a modern Don Quixote, the improbability of his quest only stokes his conviction. With his metal detector and Pez dispenser full of Oxycontin, Lindquist sets sail on his rickety shrimp boat into the savage wilderness of the Barataria. In the swamp, Lindquist meets a motley crew of characters on their own odysseys: Wes Trench, a young Cajun man estranged from his father since his mother died in Katrina; Reginald and Victor Toup, sociopathic twin brothers and drug lords; Cosgrove and Hanson, pothead petty criminals searching for a secret island in the Barataria Bay that could make them millionaires, or kill them; and Brady Grimes, slick-taking BP middleman out to make his career by swindling the townsfolk of Jeanette, among them his own mother. Funny, dark, scary, and compelling, The Marauders throws these characters on a rollicking, shocking collision course unlike anything else in fiction.
“The Marauders is so damned good you won’t believe it’s a first novel…and by the time you reach page 20, you won’t care. It’s rollicking, angry, eye-popping, and fall-on-the-floor funny, sometimes in the course of a single scene. The cast is winning, the post-Katrina bayou setting is richly evoked, the dialogue crackles, and the story rolls on a wave of invention. It’s a little Elmore Leonard, a little Charles Portis, and very much its own uniquely American self. Basically, Tom Cooper has written one hell of a novel.” – Stephen King
“More fun than a book about the aftermath of an ecological disaster has any right to be” – Esquire
“Wade into moral muck with the pill-popping, treasure-hunting, one-armed hero of this finger-lickin’-good Louisiana swamp noir.” – O, The Oprah Magazine
“A writer of depth and nuance…I can’t wait for his next book. Nor can my wife, and she and I seldom agree about novels. He’s fun to read—he keeps your head up and your eyes big.” – Clyde Edgerton, writing for Garden & Gun Magazine
“This is one hell of a debut novel. Cooper combines the rough-hewn but poetic style favored by writers like Charles Willeford with the kinds of miscreants so beloved by Elmore Leonard, all operating in the tumultuous modern-day disaster that is New Orleans.. With crisp, noir-inspired writing and a firmly believable setting, Cooper has written an engaging homage to classic crime writing that still finds things to say about the desperate days we live through now. Somewhere, Donald E. Westlake, John D. MacDonald and Elmore Leonard are smiling down on this nasty, funny piece of work.” —Kirkus Reviews, *Starred* Review
“Cooper offers a believable portrait of a bayou town and a cast of deeply engaging characters wrestling inchoately with the likely extinction of the only life they know. There is real substance and humanity in this fine debut novel.”—Booklist, *Starred* Review
“Cooper’s writing is taut, his story is gripping, and the characters and their problems will stay with you long after you finish this book. Recommended for readers who enjoy authors such as Carl Hiaasen and Elmore Leonard and stories set in and around Louisiana.” Library Journal, *Starred* Review
“Cooper’s novel is a blast.” – Publisher’s Weekly
“A sad, grotesque, hilarious, breathtaking debut…” – Wall Street Journal
“Tom Cooper expertly maps a Gulf Coast of miscreants, romantics, and a severely beleaguered nature, digging at the old, weird south with his own enthralling voice. ‘Marauders’ is propelled by wonderful characters depicted with grace, humanity, and that rarest of talents: a truly hilarious wit. Mr. Cooper joins such talents as Twain, Portis, and O’Toole in mining the humor of the Southern freak show to deliver the universal news of the human heart.” —Nic Pizzolatto, author of Galveston and creator of HBO’s True Detective
“This is rare for me, very rare, that I was utterly unable, because of a novel, to get up from a chair and answer the phone when it rang or eat when I was hungry or go to bed when I was weary. Rare, but this book has left me hungry and sleepy and neglectful of somebody I hope will call back. That his book is smart and funny and dazzling in its prose is obvious. He also can tell a hell of a story. Tom Cooper is a newly-minted American literary treasure.” – Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain
“The Marauders, Tom Cooper’s beautifully-written chronicle of the misadventures of the denizens of a dying Louisiana fishing village, pleases in so many ways. It’s funny, sad, and wise, sometimes in the same sentence. An outstanding debut.” –Richard Lange Author of Angel Baby and This Wicked World
“The very best fiction transports us effortlessly to places we’ve never been and involves us deeply with characters we’ve never met; and though I’ve never lived in the Louisiana bayous, or shrimped all day with one arm in oil-polluted waters, or obsessed over a dead pirate’s treasure while chewing up painkillers like candy, or been hunted by anyone as sadistic as the Toup brothers, Tom Cooper’s brilliant, fast-paced first novel, The Marauders, took me there, set me right down in the miserable heat and the mud and the dread, and, though it might sound strange to say, I will be forever grateful to him for that. “ – Donald Ray Pollock, author of Knockemstiff and the Devil all the Time
“The Marauders is a novel so compelling, so unsettling, so scary and hilarious that you won’t be able to put it down. You might as well pour yourself a drink and settle into your comfy chair. Set in Louisiana’s Barataria swamp after the ecological disaster that was the BP oil spill, the novel chronicles the end of a way of life for Gulf shrimpers and explores a muddy world of greed, grit, and gumbo. Tom Cooper is an eloquent new voice in the extraordinary world of Southern fiction. And, trust me on this, the spectral and relentless Toup brothers will haunt your dreams.” – John Dufresne, bestselling author of Louisiana Power & Light
“Tom Cooper has written a first novel with sustained, top-drawer prose, and that is a beautiful and uncommon thing.” – Pete Dexter, National Book Award-winning author of Paris Trout
“The first great book of the 2015 beach season.” – The Free-Lance Star
“Cooper has Louisiana dead to rights. Once set up, and Cooper is remarkably efficient at this, he bounces [the characters] off each other in ways that are equally comic and tragic, taking the reader from belly laughs to tears in a page. There’s more than a hint of the Southern gothic here, more than a little Flannery O’Connor […] but it’s never twee, never precious. Instead, it comes at you at the point of a rapier, slashing and leaping and rolling like a silver screen swordfight.” – The Baton Rouge Advocate
“Tom Cooper is a new and original voice. His first book, THE MARAUDERS (Crown) is entertaining on so many levels, it is impossible to categorize it. THE MARAUDERS is political, socially savvy, a perceptive inspection of the Bayou, post Katrina, post BP oil spill. It is the latter which has the greatest impact on Coopers’s collection of Louisiana trawlers, a rambling crew assembled around the Gulf Coast. The Bayou fishermen are pursued by a BP buyoff salesman while they are struggling to make a buck gathering oil stained shrimp. Politicians love describing non-Beltway inhabitants as the “real people”…but when exposed so skillfully by Mr. Cooper, this crew’s collective morality and humanity varies little from the lobbyists, bankers and hedge fund manipulators. They’re just poorer and rarely have the media’s attention. THE MARAUDERS is social commentary, a comic cavalcade, and a crime filled gem. The crimes exposed are large and small, corporate exploitation and hustlers pushing dope. You might laugh out loud reading THE MARAUDERS. You might also cry.” – WBAI Radio, New York
“In the tradition of John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, Cooper with Marauders uses fiction to expose to the public the grinding inequities and institutional unfairness facing a people trying to make do with less and less in a world where every card is seemingly dealt against them…The Marauders shines for its local flavor, colorful characters and picturesque scenes. Let’s hope Cooper continues to write more [books] set in this locale for many years to come.” – The Clarion Ledger
“…a tragicomic equivalent of THE GRAPES OF WRATH for the 21st century…. THE MARAUDERS is one of those rare books that draws you into the cracks and crevices of its reality so deeply that your own world seems imaginary and secondary for a few hours.” – The Book Reporter
“A sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking “swamp noir” gumbo with echoes of John Kennedy Toole, Larry Brown and Daniel Woodrell…The Marauders is as grounded in the simple truth as it is awash in the outlandishly eccentric.” – Shelf Awareness
“A mix of Elmore Leonard, True Detective, and Breaking Bad, set on the Louisiana coast.” -San Diego Magazine
“A debut novel that does nothing in half measures. It isn’t afraid to take risks, dabble in darkness and skirt the edge of ruin, and this is what makes it such an exciting read […] Brash and unapologetic, The Marauders is a thrill ride. The plot is brisk, the characters are captivating and the writing is lush and striking. Cooper’s writing is the kind a reader can happily get lost in, and his depictions of the Deep South are so evocative that if he ever gets tired of fiction, he might give travel writing a try. But The Marauders is such an impressive offering from an audacious new voice in fiction that one can only hope it is but the first of many. As far as bibliophilic treasure hunts go, this one is literary gold.” BookPage
“Tom Cooper masterfully evokes the post-BP-oil-spill Gulf Coast bayou in this scary, hilarious, hyper-realized first novel, featuring a rich jambalaya of drugs, familial tensions, murder, huge alligators and other nasty critters, corporate depravity, and general sociopathy. This book is beautifully turned and relentlessly atmospheric. It is perfect for fans of Donald Ray Pollock and Daniel Woodrell. Don’t miss it.” The Missoulian Corridor.
“Tom Cooper’s irresistible new novel, The Marauders, with all its humor and snap, is also a subtle elegy: for the Barataria, a fragile Louisiana waterland, and for the working lives of its ornery inhabitants […]In a series of alternating chapters so compressed and finely drawn that any one could be a short story, (Cooper’s first discipline), each skewed character and gimcrack dive emerges with the tactile clarity we expect from Elmore Leonard or Annie Proulx.” The Barnes & Noble Review