Douglas Anthony Cooper

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This article is about the writer. For the American Civil War general, see Douglas H. Cooper.
Douglas Anthony Cooper
Born 1960 (age 56–57)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Occupation Writer, novelist, journalist
Genre Fiction, journalism

Douglas Anthony Cooper is a Canadian writer.


Cooper, born in Toronto, has published three novels: Amnesia, Delirium, and Milrose Munce and the Den of Professional Help. His second novel, Delirium, is credited with being the first novel serialized online.[1]

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."[2]

Cooper has an M.A. in philosophy and completed a year of architecture school. His novels deal with architectural theory, and he has collaborated regularly with architects: notably on new media projects with Diller Scofidio + Renfro.[3]

Cooper's journalism has appeared in the New York Times,[4] Wired,[5] and Food & Wine.[6] He won a National Magazine Award in Canada for a travel essay in Saturday Night.[7] A piece in Travel + Leisure won the Lowell Thomas Gold Medal from the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation in 2004,[8] and was collected in The Best American Travel Writing 2004.[9] In 2012, Cooper wrote a series of controversial articles for the Huffington Post, highly critical of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), and in support of the No Kill movement. This work, "PETA's Death Cult," was a finalist for the Canadian Online Publishing Awards, in the category of "Best Online-Only Article or Series of Articles."[10]


Amnesia (1992), Cooper's first novel, was nominated for the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and longlisted for the Commonwealth Prize. It chronicles the unraveling of a Toronto family, and the amnesiac girl who ruins one of its children, Izzy Darlow.

Publishers Weekly noted that it was "Published to extravagant praise in Canada (with comparisons to Nabokov, Genet, Calvino and Margaret Atwood)."[11] Kirkus Reviews wrote that Amnesia was "more concerned with emotional states than traditional characters, and... reminiscent of, say, Thomas's White Hotel."[12] Michiko Kakutani in the New York Times observed: "Although... (a) self-conscious quality never entirely lifts, one gradually comes to appreciate Mr. Cooper's copious gifts."[13] James Polk, in a second New York Times review, called Amnesia "a dense, absorbing first novel (which) locates prominent features in the landscapes of mind and memory."[14] While the Chicago Tribune hailed the book as "intricate",[15] the South Florida Sun-Sentinel dismissed it as "forgettable".[16] The Boston Globe called Cooper "ambitious", and noted that he "takes us on a journey through the dark corridors of the psyche, introducing us to characters who change shape as easily as smoke rings."[17]


Delirium (1998) was the first novel to be serialized on the World Wide Web. It was initially published digitally in 1994, by Time Warner Electronic Publishing (TWEP). Delirium is the second Izzy Darlow novel, and follows the character to Manhattan. Darlow finds himself caught up in the tale of Ariel Price, a legendary architect who has vowed to murder his own biographer. The experiment in architectural structure initiated by Amnesia becomes increasingly complex and monstrous, in line with the projects designed by 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)."[18] Cooper partnered with Peter Eisenman on an installation based on Delirium for the Architecture Triennial in Milan.[19]

Milrose Munce and the Den of Professional Help[edit]

Milrose Munce and the Den of Professional Help (2007) is a gothic novel for young adults about a pair of flamboyant teenagers who can see and converse with dead students, and their war with the school psychologist who is set on convincing them that they cannot. It is a black comic look at the tactics of guidance counselors and juvenile psychiatrists. The novel became a surprise bestseller when it was accidentally published in Amazon Kindle format by Doubleday,[20] and was subsequently deemed a "2008 Book of the Year" by the United Kingdom's Lovereading 4 Kids.[21] It was on the Financial Times Bestseller List in London, England, after the paper observed: "Appealing to the misfit in all of us, Milrose Munce is a grand, gigglesome read."[22]


  1. ^ Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada. University of Toronto Press. 2002. pp. 236, 1093–1094. ISBN 0802007619. 
  2. ^ MICHIKO KAKUTANI (1994-02-25). "Books of The Times: An Ancient Mariner Tells a Haunting Modern Tale". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  3. ^ NED CRAMER (1998-07-01). "The Plot Thickens: An Interview with Novelist Douglas Anthony Cooper". Architecture Magazine. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  4. ^ Curbed.
  5. ^ "Very Nervous System". Wired. April 1994. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "The Joy of not Cooking". Food & Wine. July 2000. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  7. ^ National Magazine Awards.
  8. ^ "Quercus Authors". Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  9. ^ Wilson, Jason (2004). The Best American Travel Writing 2004. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 368. ISBN 0618341269. 
  10. ^ Canadian Online Publishing Awards.
  11. ^ "Fiction review: Amnesia". Publishers Weekly. February 28, 1994. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  12. ^ "Review: Amnesia". Kirkus Reviews. December 15, 1993. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  13. ^ Kakutani, Michiko (February 25, 1994). "Books of The Times; An Ancient Mariner Tells a Haunting Modern Tale". New York Times. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  14. ^ JAMES POLK (1994-03-06). "Izzy's Own Story". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-11-01. 
  15. ^ Whitehouse, Anne (Apr 3, 1994). "Douglas Cooper's intricate, symbol-laden tale of forgetting and identity". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  16. ^ Klotz, Steven (Jun 26, 1994). "Amnesia a forgettable, meandering tale". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  17. ^ Hengen, Vicki (May 6, 1994). "'Amnesia': a mind-bending coming-of-age novel". Boston Globe. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  18. ^ CRAIG SELIGMAN (1998-03-15). "Towering Ambition". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-10-24. 
  19. ^ "Interview with Douglas Cooper *Writers Write — The IWJ*". Retrieved 2012-10-04. 
  20. ^ JOHN BARBER (2010-05-19). "Publishing: From failed novel to chart-topper". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  21. ^ "Book of the Year: Ages 9-11". Lovereading 4 Kids. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  22. ^ JAMES LOVEGROVE (2008-05-24). "Milrose Munce and the Den of Professional Help". Financial Times. Retrieved 2012-10-24. 

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