Clarence Cooper Jr.

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Clarence Cooper Jr.
Born 1934
Died 1978
New York City
Occupation American Author

Clarence L. Cooper Jr. (1934 – 1978) was an American author.


Clarence Cooper Jr. wrote seven crime novels that describe life in Black America, in the underworld of drugs and violence and in jail (The Farm). Cooper worked as an editor for The Chicago Messenger around 1955. He was said to have started taking heroin at this time.[1] His first book, The Scene, was a success with the critics. It had been published by serious Random House, but his other three books were published by Regency, a pure paperback publisher, while Cooper was in prison in Detroit: Weed (1961), The Dark Messenger (1962) and Yet Princes Follow together with Not We Many, as Black: Two Short Novels (1962). Harlan Ellison was his editor.[2] His last book, The Farm, plays at the Lexington prison for drug addicts, once called U.S. Narcotics Farm.[3] Cooper's addiction and a growing alienation from those around him, perhaps driven by the hostile response to his fiction, all contributed to his early destitute death.


Cooper died penniless, strung out and alone in the 23rd street YMCA New York City in 1978.[1][3]

Published works[edit]

  • The Syndicate (1960), as "Robert Chestnut", Chicago: Newsstand
  • The Scene (1960), described by the Library of Congress as autobiographical. ISBN 0-393-31463-4.
  • Weed (1961).
  • The Dark Messenger (1962) OCLC 2496855
  • Black, 2 short novels: Yet Princes Follow, Not We Many (1962)
  • The Farm (1967). Crown Publishers. repr. ISBN 0-393-31785-4.
  • Black (1997), a collection of three short novels: "The Dark Messenger", "Yet Princes Follow", "Not We Many". ISBN 0-393-31541-X.
  • Weed and The Syndicate (1998)


  • Serendipity Books, African-American, African & Caribbean booklist, 1998


  1. ^ a b Clarence Cooper Jnr profile, Canongate Press
  2. ^ el 11, vol. 2, no. 6, December 2003 the regency covers
  3. ^ a b O'Neill, Tony (2007-09-13). "Down and out in New York". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 

External links[edit]