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Erna Cooper (website under construction)

(C)1999 by Erna Cooper. All rights reserved.


Author of Grandma Munci's Legacy -- memoir, autobiography, film --
short stories, plays and poetry.


* Born in Los Angeles, in 1968. Grew up in West Covina and
Beverly Hills, California.
* Attended drama school at New York University, where she included voice, literature, dramatic writing, fine art, and romance languages in her curriculum.
* Accepted to AMDA (American Musical and Dramatic Academy), NYC.
* Instead, took a B.A. in English Literature, at UCLA.
* Masters in European Literature, Oxford University (specialising in 20th century French literature).
* Presently living in Oxford, England, writing on Marguerite Duras and Willa Cather, as well as working on her own stories, films and poetry.


Grandma Munci's Legacy:

(Written text and film adaptation in progress.) This book began as a memoir about my grandmother's escape from Hungary before the deportation of Jews from Auschwitz in 1944. It dramatises the emotional and political struggles she experienced: her plight in Palestine, trekk through the continent and across the United States, where she finally settled in Los Angeles.

Inspired by a memory box uncovered after grandma's death in 1995,
a world of tragic, humorous tales, dialogues, and steadfast pursuits opened up and put my own personal history into clearer perspective.

This then became a story tracing three generations of women's lives in my family -- a memoir and an autobiography. It begins with my grandmother's personal losses in the war, explores my mother's complicated immigrant life and youth in 1940's and 1950's Hollywood, and ends with my own struggles with family legacies.

The narrative, specifically, leaves off, again, with departures: mine and grandma's. I am now at Oxford Univeristy, where I continued to write about women's lives.

Some of the work comes from written documentation; some from
taped conversation, as well as from my own memories, dialogues,
experiences and dreams. The story, in sum, is about love, loss,
violence, laughter, death, immigrant life, generational
pain, and unique methods of madness and survival in an absurd world.
(copyright 10/13/98, Erna Rachel Cooper)


'The Red Shoes', 'Mimosas in the Sun', et al.)
'The Red Shoes' and 'Mimosas in the Sun' both deal with dream life, prescience and sexual betrayal. 'The Red Shoes' is, however, rather emphatic about the power and preciousness of the child's
eye view of the world and of adult lives. A third short, as yet
untitled, also explores the power of dreams and unconscious warnings, bordering on science fiction; it is also about a surreal
world extending from my grandmother's house, with a bizarre encounter with Christopher Lloyd. Themes: childhood, dream
life, betrayal, the unconscious and the supernatural.
(copyrights: 1995-6 Erna Rachel Cooper)


(from a new sonnet cycle)


In my sleep you come to rest with me,
Lie by my side and dance with me in dreams,
The bonfire of my heart, yet cool, at sea,
Wading in abstraction, or so you seem;
A phantom love yet unknown, though felt
Leaning on Time, the general of my heart,
Whose dues, pains, blockades one day shall melt
'Till our twin horizons fire his will apart;
Where 'prisoned space keeps us unreconciled,
Living in tomorrow and imagination,
Keeping you in dreams, and me, a child,
Who lives in wistful lines, from Love's stagnation.
Doctor me in flesh, or I'll grow old
Without ever having had a love so bold.
(c. 03/99 Erna Cooper)

"Half-rhymes, internal rhymes, archaisms and inversions are
passe," I've been told by Oxford Dons, but genuine feelings,
experiences and awakenings shall never be.


". . . the problem is not to pursue the delirium,
but by continuing it to bring it to an end."

-- Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization

(All works above are registered and lodged with the U.S. Register of Copyrights, Library of Congress, a participant in the International Berne Convention.)

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