Douglas Anthony Cooper

Douglas Anthony Cooper

Douglas Anthony Cooper is a writer originally from Canada, who lived for many years in New York City and currently resides in Oaxaca, Mexico. He trained in philosophy and architecture, and these are the areas that dominate his novels, which are generally placed in the category of postmodern fiction. Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times wrote that his "elliptical narrative style recalls works by D. M. Thomas, Paul Auster, Sam Shepard and Vladimir Nabokov."[1]

Cooper often works with architects, including a number of projects around the world with Diller + Scofidio involving new media. His works with Diller + Scofidio include a landscape piece at the 2002 World's Fair in Switzerland and "Chain City", a video installation at the 2008 Venice Biennale of Architecture. He also partnered with Peter Eisenman on a major piece for the Architecture Triennial in Milan: an installation based on Cooper's second novel, Delirium.[2]

Cooper has written travel articles for many publications and was associated for years with New York Magazine. In 2004 he won America's most prestigious travel writing award, the Lowell Thomas Gold Medal, from the Society of American Travel Writers.


  • Amnesia (1992), Cooper's first novel, is a postmodern addition to the genre of architectural fiction. It chronicles the unraveling of a Toronto family and the amnesiac girl who undoes its scion, Izzy Darlow. The novel is obsessive and fragmentary - a structurally complex work opposing the manic power of Eros to the compulsive need to forget. Cooper deals with memory theory throughout the novel, and emphasizes its relationship to classical rhetoric. He studied Latin rhetoric, and was a serious competitive debater in college - he was Canadian National Champion in 1985, and Runner-Up Best Speaker at the 1985 World Championships. Amnesia gained a following among architecture students and academic theorists, and Cooper has been deeply involved in the architectural community as an artistic collaborator.[3]
  • Delirium (1998), the second Izzy Darlow novel, follows the character to Manhattan, where he is a writer. Darlow is slowly unspooling the story of Ariel Price, an architect who vows to murder his biographer. The experiment in architectural structure initiated by Amnesia becomes even more complex and ambitious, in line with the monstrous projects designed by Ariel Price. The New York Times observed that Cooper "invents an underground city of the dead and the disenfranchised that suggests the night visions in The Crying of Lot 49 " (by Thomas Pynchon). The novel deals with problems of narrative itself, and in particular a person's will to control his or her story, even after death. As with Amnesia, Delirium addresses the nature of horror, and of the impossible drive to redeem the broken human spirit. Delirium is widely recognized as the first novel serialized on the World Wide Web.[4] It was published by Time Warner Electronic Publishing (TWEP), a pioneering effort to create online content.
  • Milrose Munce and the Den of Professional Help is a gothic novel for young adults about a pair of flamboyant teenagers who can see ghosts, and their battle with the school psychologist who is set on convincing them that they cannot. It is a dark comic look at the tactics of guidance counselors and juvenile psychiatrists.
  • Milrose Munce and the Plague of the Toxic Fungus is Cooper's second Milrose Munce novel for young adults. Considerably darker than Milrose Munce and the Den of Professional Help, it also demonstrates Cooper's phenomenal ability to find humor in even the strangest circumstances and again gives range to the sarcastic adolescent voice.


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