Short Fiction. These stories of Richard Cohen illuminate family life with a realism large enough to accommodate illusion. 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. Sheila Weller of The New York Times has commented about Richard Cohen’s first novel Domestic Tranquility that it is built on observation so minutely and constantly intelligent that one feels as intellectually engaged by it as emotionally seized. Richard Cohen lives with his family in Austin, Texas.
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.
Jim Dwyer, Library Journal –
These twelve stories focus on families that are not exactly dysfunctional, just neurotic and stifling. Murphy’s law rules: anything that can go wrong will, anything you say can be held against you, potentially healing words go unspoken, no opportunity for self-sabotage is wasted, guilt is the basis of all relationships, and past pains and slights are relived again and again. The protagonists may be young children, parents raising children, or older children dealing with aging parents, but all fail to find solutions to their various problems. While some of these characters live on the edge of genuine pathos, most seem merely pathetic. Cohen is a skillful and sensitive writer with great potential, but his vision of the modern family will seem despairingly dark for most readers. Recommended for larger collections.
Jo-Ann Graziana, ForeWord –
Like a good psychiatrist, Cohen shows how a psyche is built upon family memories. The dialogue truly reveals family life.