Richard Cohen

Pronoun Music

Fiction: Short Stories ISBN: 1-929355-03-3 Price: $16 (trade paperback) 240 pages

The stories of Richard Cohen illuminate family life with a realism large enough to accommodate illusion. Driven by cognitive distortions, fugitive affections, and imaginary escapes, his characters turn the world around them into an arena of needless but somehow fated suffering. In a Chinese restaurant or on the drive to a state park, their inner lives are waiting to trip them up.

Most of these stories are about children and their parents. Some of the children are grownups taking care of their elders; others are chronologically juvenile. At the turning point of youth to age, of singleness to marriage, they fight their way out of the webs of family and self with a degree of success equal finally to their gift for belief.

Unsurpassed as a portraitist of childhood, Richard Cohen knows that terms like "child" and "parent" are fluid constructs not always bound by age. An expert witness of the domestic lives of men--a subject strangely underrepresented in contemporary American publishing--he now also shows an uncanny understanding of women.

welve strong stories, chronicling our passages and passions with wit and insight, transfiguring them with exhilarating art

Some comments about Richard Cohen's previous work:

On Domestic Tranqulity:

"Domestic Tranquility is a beautiful first novel-- built on observations so minutely and constantly intelligent that one feels as intellectually engaged by it as emotionally seized." Sheila Weller, TNYTBR

"A deliberative, painstaking, yet warmly empathic first novel which explores the artifices of domestic tranquility and the fearful isolation, hostility, and anguished love beneath." Kirkus Reviews

"Domestic Tranquility is a devastatingly convincing anatomy of a family.... Richard Cohen reaches deeply into the hearts of his three characters, illumninating with clarity the foibles, flaws, dark sides, and resilience of us all." Gail Tansill Lambert, Best Sellers

"Cohen is a good chronicler of everyday life. He has the gift of showing the hilarious and the horrible in our mundane activities. In a gentle yet powerful way, he gets inside a small, important moment and unfolds the meaning of that moment for all to see.... He writes about loving and caring and hurting with wisdom and wit to belie his years."

Mary Hart Murray, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram On Say You Want Me:

"It is to Mr. Cohen's credit that he steers clear of a predictable conclusion.... [He] is skillful at detailing the nuances of the bond between Brendan and his son." THYTBR

"[This is a] poignantly imagined, perfectly realized novel of two-career family life in the 19802.... The book explodes in beauty and pain when things that must change mix and ignite with the things that can't.... I started reading it one night and read straight through until 4 a.m."

Jack Miles, The LA Times

"Cohen is a writer as intuitive as he is stylish.... Cohen also has an uncanny ear for the ways in which men and women try, with varying degrees of success, to talk to one another." Chicago Tribune

"A dazzling new novel.... Couldn't be more up-to-the-moment."

New Woman

"What is amazing about Richard Cohen's handling of a marriage on the downslide, a new love affair, and the complexities of parenthood is that his voice always rings true, without fail.... He's a spectacular writer, a distinctive voice to be heard." Ruth Pollack Coughlin, The Detroit News


Richard Cohen was born and raised in the Bronx, NY. He graduated with a degree in anthropology from the University of Michigan, where he won the Hopwood Award for short fiction. He sold his first novel, Domestic Tranquility, the day he was scheduled to begin law school, so he immediately dropped out. Since then he has published two more novels (Say You Want Me and Don't Mention the Moon) as well as a book on the writing craft (Writer's Mind: Crafting Fiction). The father of two grown children, he lives in Austin, Texas with his new family.