In 1967 Delacort published a novel by Patricia Cooper called In Deep. Ever heard of it? Probably not. I read it waybackwhen, remembered liking it, now I’m re-reading. It. Is. So. Good. My Dell paperback reprint wants to portray it as a sex romp through swinging Manhattan. Actually it is an edgy and suspenseful family drama, full of wit, insight, and memorable turns of phrase. As far as I can tell, this is Cooper’s only novel. She may have written a couple other, non-fiction books. (She doesn’t have much of an on-line footprint and there may be more than one author with her name.)
Wonder why she stopped writing fiction. Hope it was because she was done, not thwarted or demoralized. It can be hard to distinguish between done and done in. I hope she didn’t give up.
As I write about her, I think about me, and I hope I don’t give up. Twenty years between novels makes me a first time novelist twice over. And the publishing world of the early ’90s was so different that memories of it can be liabilities today. But I’m not done. So I’ve decided to believe that Cooper pulled a Harper Lee and stopped because she had said what she wanted to say.
Now I had better sign off to go get some writing done.
I first read it not too long after it was published, and it made such an impression on me, I have lugged it around during all the years since then. I recently re-read my near-crumbling paperback copy, which I probably originally got from the trunk of my grandfather’s car. He was a grassroots lending library.
I read Cooper’s novel in high school.
Did you find it a little difficult to understand? I did.
I also read it in high school, and back then I don’t think I fully got what was happening, although it made a powerful overall impression on me. However I just re-read it and I think I get it now – and I’m still wowed by Cooper’s writing, although I’m responding in quite different ways.
How did you find out about this book?
I found it at a secondhand store roughly 10 years ago. It’s a uniquely written book; it definitely left an impression on me.