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Susan Cooper is a renowned British author who wrote ‘The Dark is Rising’. Born in 1935 in Buckinghamshire at a time when it was mostly a green countryside, her father, John Richard Cooper worked at the Natural History Museum before he was drawn into the Second World War. He came back home with a wounded leg, eventually finding a place at the Great Western Railway Office.
Order of The Boggart Series
|1||The Boggart||1993||Description / Buy|
|2||The Boggart and the Monster||1997||Description / Buy|
|3||The Boggart Fights Back||2018||Description / Buy|
Order of The Dark Is Rising Series
|1||Over Sea, Under Stone||1965||Description / Buy|
|2||The Dark is Rising||1973||Description / Buy|
|3||Greenwitch||1974||Description / Buy|
|4||The Grey King||1975||Description / Buy|
|5||Silver On The Tree||1977||Description / Buy|
Order of Susan Cooper Standalone Novels
|1||Dawn of Fear||1970||Description / Buy|
|2||Seaward||1983||Description / Buy|
|3||King of Shadows||1999||Description / Buy|
|4||Green Boy||2002||Description / Buy|
|5||The Magician's Boy (Short Story)||2005||Description / Buy|
|6||Victory||2006||Description / Buy|
|7||Ghost Hawk||2013||Description / Buy|
Order of Susan Cooper Picture Books
|1||Jethro and the Jumbie (Short Story)||1979||Description / Buy|
|2||The Silver Cow (Short Story)||1983||Description / Buy|
|3||The Selkie Girl (Short Story)||1986||Description / Buy|
|4||Matthew's Dragon (Short Story)||1991||Description / Buy|
|5||Tam Lin (Short Story)||1991||Description / Buy|
|6||Danny and the Kings (Short Story)||1993||Description / Buy|
|7||Frog (Short Story)||2002||Description / Buy|
|8||The Word Pirates (Short Story)||2019||Description / Buy|
|9||The Shortest Day (Short Story)||2019||Description / Buy|
Order of Susan Cooper Non-Fiction Books
|1||Dreams and Wishes||1996||Description / Buy|
|2||The Magic Maker||2011||Description / Buy|
Susan Cooper Anthologies
|1||Travellers in Time: Past, Present, and to Come||1980||Description / Buy|
|2||The Writer's Guide to Fantasy Literature||2002||Description / Buy|
|3||The Wand in the Word: Conversations with Writers of Fantasy||2006||Description / Buy|
|4||Acting Out||2008||Description / Buy|
|5||Haunted||2011||Description / Buy|
Ethel, Cooper’s mother, taught ten-year-olds. A former student of Slough High School and Sommerville College (University of Oxford) from where she got her English Degree, Cooper stayed in Buckinghamshire until the age of 21. Then she went to Aberdyfi, her grandmother’s village in Wales.
Cooper was an avid reader. Her passion for the written word was ignited when she was young. Her brother was the same and he eventually took up writing just like his big sister. Everyone that knew Susan Cooper expected her to take the publishing route.
At Oxford, while she was lauded for it, no one was surprised when she became the university newspaper’s editor, the first woman to hold that position. After college, she went into journalism. While she cherished her positioned at the Sunday Times in London, she was even more enthused by the idea of working under Ian Flemming.
The James Bond creator was her first boss. As far as her personal works are concerned, Cooper tried to write in her spare time. ‘The Dark is Rising’ started taking shape during her stint at the Sunday Times. It was also during this period that ‘Mandrake’, her debut novel, was written and published (1964).
Many of her fans have no idea that ‘Mandrake’ was her first novel. They think that her career started with ‘Over Sea, Under Stone’. This is probably because ‘Over Sea, Under Stone’ is the first book in the ‘Dark is Rising’ series. It is worth noting that ‘Over Sea, Under Stone’ was initially meant to stand on its own.
The author wrote it for a publishing house competition. The manuscript was rejected by 20 publishers before Jonathan Cape entered the picture and decided to give it a fair shake. It was because of ‘Over Sea, Under Stone’ that Susan Cooper and Margaret McElderry met.
The Sunday Times had sent Cooper to the United States. Several things happened in the country that changed her life. She met a professor by the names of Nicholas Grant, eventually marrying him. The widower had three children at the time. So Cooper became their stepmother. She also bore two more children.
She had already settled down in the US in 1963 when McElderry bought the rights to ‘Over Sea, Under Stone’. She went on to become Cooper’s best American friend. She was responsible for getting ‘Dawn of Fear’, an autobiographical novel published. This was after Cooper’s agent tried and failed to find a publisher to buy it.
In the years that followed, the author conceived the concept behind the Dark is Rising. She found a way to connect the story back to ‘Over Sea, Under Stone’, paving the way for her most popular series of novels.
Cooper’s marriage to Nicholas ended in divorce. She went on to marry Hume Cronyn, an actor, and author.
Susan Cooper Awards
Cooper won the Newbery Medal, Tir na n-Og Award, and the B’nai B’rith Janusz Korczak Prize, not to mention a Hans Christian Andersen Award nomination.
Susan Cooper Books into Movies
The second novel in the ‘Dark is Rising’ series became a Live-Action Fantasy film called ‘The Seeker’ in 2007.
Best Susan Cooper Books
Cooper has been praised for writing fantastical stories that are rooted in the real world, with some of the best books in her bibliography including:
Dark is Rising: The powers of evil are rising. The six great signs of light can stop them but only if they are joined. Will thought he was a simple boy. But then he turned 11 and realized that he was destined to find and guard the great signs.
Over Sea, Under Stone: The Drew children did not expect much from their holiday in Cornwall. But then they discovered an ancient map and realized that they held within their hands the key to finding a power that could vanquish the forces of evil.
When Does The Next Susan Cooper book come out?
Susan Cooper doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is The Shortest Day and was released on October, 22nd 2019. It is the newest book in the Susan Cooper Picture Books.