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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than A Book....
I didn't expect anything less than what this book held - a wonderful collection of stories that are more than just "stories!"
This book like all the others [that she's written] are so full of life and wisdom. Mrs. Cooper is my favorite author beyond any doubt.
I read her books and I get stories about this journey called life - and in her stories - I...
Published on November 19, 2000 by Amazon Customer

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2.0 out of 5 stars The future has a past
Another book picked for our monthly book club reading. It's been a while since I read it, but I seem to remember it was ok.
Published on October 29, 2012 by SAP


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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than A Book...., November 19, 2000
By 
Amazon Customer "sischelle" (Shreveport, Louisiana United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Future Has a Past (Hardcover)
I didn't expect anything less than what this book held - a wonderful collection of stories that are more than just "stories!"
This book like all the others [that she's written] are so full of life and wisdom. Mrs. Cooper is my favorite author beyond any doubt.
I read her books and I get stories about this journey called life - and in her stories - I get wisdom on how to handle this journey called life.
A masterful author - she delivers again with "The Future Has A Past." I encourage you to get her works and experience a true story-teller who leaves you with more "fight" to go through life knowing that each of us have the ability to come out of the fight victorious!
My only regret is, I wish she could write a book a month!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simply the best, December 16, 2000
This review is from: The Future Has a Past (Hardcover)
It seems to me that when this lady writes something, it is so good that you feel that possibly, she can't top it, and then she does. J.California Cooper must be one of the most underrated African American writers there is because outside of her fans, you don't hear much about her. But in my opinion, she is one of the best writers out here. Anyone that could take a story and just make you enjoy it as though you enjoy a good meal or a good movie, that is Ms.Cooper. I enjoyed especially "A Filet of Soul". Luella may have had a self-esteem problem, but she sure wasn't a total fool. And in the end, she triumphed. The story about Vinnie and her self-centered children will come next. These stories are about ordinary folks whose life become a bit sweeter or in some instances, worse (like Cool in "The Lost and The Found" though I tend to feel he was set up for his own undoing).And in them, you find a lesson, and feel better for it. I only hope that more would recognize the talent that Ms.Cooper has and read her works. You won't come away disappointed.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Poignant Stories...MUST READS for the sisterhood!, January 7, 2001
By 
Amazon Customer "Shonell Bacon" (Lake Charles, LA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Future Has a Past (Hardcover)
I have to almost shyly say that I've never read a book by Ms. Cooper before, but when her newest work was sent to me, the title alone drew me in, and the book refused to let me go until I finished the last page.
The Future Has A Past is a collection of four stories that centered around a topic that women of all shades hold dear: LOVE. In these stories, Cooper introduces us to ordinary women who discover that love sometimes comes when you least expect it to.
In the collection, you'll find:
1. Maisha, the narrator of "A Shooting Star," chronicles the much-gossiped-about affairs of her friend Lorene and laments her inability to differentiate between sex and love,
2. In "The Eagle Flies," Vinnie, a single mother, devotes herself to her selfish children, letting opportunities for her own happiness slip by until it is almost too late,
3. In "A Filet of Soul," Louella, raised to believe she is ugly and undesirable, falls for a fast-talking con man and loses her small inheritance and her dignity; but his betrayal turns out to mark the beginning of a love affair -- and a life -- Louella had never imagined she would find, and
4. "The Lost and the Found," Lorene waits and waits for the philanderer she loves to marry her, almost letting the love of a good man pass her by
First and foremost, I have to say that Cooper's style is one that evokes emotions, that pulls you into the women's lives and pains, making you tap into your very own. There is no way I could pick just one story as my favorite, for as a woman, I found truth in each and every story, and so often found myself saying, "So and so NEEDS to read this story, and open their eyes."
Not only does Cooper spin a wonderful story, but she intricately weaves truth and wisdom into her words, making these stories almost a testament to various aspects of this thing called love.
The Future Has A Past is a book that should be a must-read to not only African American women, but to ALL women of the sisterhood, because I believe not one woman could read this collection and not find herself in at least one of the stories.
Let Cooper's down home narrators invite you into the excellent read that is The Future Has A Past...you'll definitely leave with new perspectives on love, and realizing that although we look to our futures, our pasts will help to construct those futures...make your NOW important and full of love, for yourself.
Shonell Bacon....
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING, November 4, 2000
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This review is from: The Future Has a Past (Hardcover)
I have read everything Ms Cooper has written and everytime I think she has done her best work she has proven me wrong.I learned a long time ago that reading can take you to new places and sometimes make you understand where you have been. In The Future has a Past I find myself wondering how she knows me so well when we have never met. The stories are real no matter what time or place they are centered around. As in the Matter is Life I related to the stories because I had lived the stories or knew someone who has.From her first novel Family to Wake of the Wind, Ms Cooper has again brought reality to real situations by telling a fiction story. The future has a Past will take you inside yourself and make you think about what life and love means to you. The women have all been friends of mine. Louella in the Filet of Soul makes you look at yourself and wonder how many times have someone told us something about ourselves and we believed it. How many time have you thought of yourself as worthless or unloveable. This book is a great read and the stories are fictional but the characters are so very real. Again I must wait for something even more amazing then The Future has a Past. I have nothing but respect and admiration for Ms. Cooper.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book filled with some serious life lessons!, May 30, 2001
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This review is from: The Future Has a Past (Hardcover)
This is the second book I've had the pleasure to read by J. California Cooper this year. Written in that simple down-home style, Ms. Cooper presents four compelling short stories about women of various ages and status. Even though each of the stories are different in plot, setting, and situation, one theme that seems to connect each of them together is LOVE.
In the first story, "A Shooting Star," Maisha, the narrator, talks about the well-known affairs of her classmate and friend, Lorene Shaky. Some would view Maisha's telling of Lorene's life as nothing but the words of a jealous woman. But in spite of Lorene's glamour and beauty, Maisha knows that her friend never understood that being in love went way beyond just having sex. Therefore, she feels deep grief for a friend who never knew what it meant to be cherished and truly loved. In "A Filet of Soul," Luella has been told all her life by her mother, Sedalia, that she is ugly. She is told this in hopes that it will discourage her from seeking love, which would result in her having a broken heart. What her mother always worried about comes true when Luella falls for the first fast-talking rascal she meets. Luckily, she did not let that unfortunate experience keep her from taking the risk again on finding an everlasting love. Vinnie, the single mother, in "The Eagle Flies" almost misses out on finding love and happiness when she allows her devotion to her selfish grown children to consume every aspect of her life. In the final story of this collection, "The Lost and the Found," Irene faces up to the fact that her lover, Mr. Cool, whom she has waited for seven years, has no intentions of marrying her. Just when she realizes how much of her life has been lost waiting for Cool, she marvels at how she has found love again . . . this time from a man who has waited patiently for her all those years.
THE FUTURE HAS A PAST is a remarkable collection filled with humor, wisdom, and emotion. There are some serious life lessons in this book and I appreciate how Ms. Cooper weaves her tale in such a way that allows the reader to reflect and take from those lessons a sincere truth, which adds meaning and relevance to one's life experiences. This is an excellent collection of short stories!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Without Having Read It!, October 24, 2000
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Future Has a Past (Hardcover)
This isn't exactly a review of "The Future Has a Past", but of Ms. Cooper's book in general. She is one of my favorite authors. I have purchased ALL of her books that I know of and have enjoyed immensley all that I have read. I refuse to read them all too soon, because some has to be saved for a rainy day. I am very skeptical about loaning her books out unless I am positive that they will be returned in great condition. Her books are to be treasured because you will want to read them more than once!
Ms. Cooper tells such captivating stories which are full of wisdom, life, and humor(which will crack you up at times). Sometimes I feel as if I am listening to stories from my beloved granny.
I have been waitng for this book every since I found out that she had a new one coming. As I said earlier, I have not read the book or a review, but I am positive that I will enjoy it as much, if not more than her others.
While looking through this site, I see that some of her books are out of print. I am sooooo happy that I bought them before that happened. If you have not read anything by her, you have truly missed out!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Furture Has A Past, June 14, 2001
This review is from: The Future Has a Past (Hardcover)
I am a solid J. California Cooper fan for life. And it goes without saying that I was not disappointed when it came to reading The Future Has A Past.
I loved all four stories. However, A Filet of Soul and The Lost and the Found were my favorites. Ms. Cooper has a way of holding your hand as she introduces you to the people in her stories. She has the ability to pinch just the right nerve at just the right time to let you know that you could have lived the life that the character is living.
I just hope that we don't have to wait very long for the next book. But then again...stories by J. California Cooper are like fine wine. Nothing before it's time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My first California Cooper book to read and I am smitten!, May 3, 2002
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This review is from: The Future Has a Past (Hardcover)
This was my first reading of CC. I loved this book. It is a woman's book but men would learn a lot about how women think and feel if they read this book. The stories are sometimes sad, very very real--like what life is really like... I think Ms. Cooper is going to end up being one of my all-time favorite authors. I am a white woman who enjoys black writers, especially female writers. They can explain real life better than anyone else I have read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Future Has a Past, March 5, 2002
By 
Amazon Customer (Maryville, Il United States) - See all my reviews
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As with all of Coopers books, it is another page turner! Once you get started it is hard to put the book down. I have all of her books and in the process of reading Wake in The Wind. Each story in The Future Has a Past will have you on the edge of your seat waiting to turn the page! I would recommend any of her books to read! BRILLIANT!!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Always Superb!, February 20, 2002
J. California Cooper has a gift for good writing! I really enjoyed all these short stories as much as her other ones. I can't say that I have a favorite because I enjoy them all equally! This one has more of a theme in all four stories. All the women were hard, hard-working women with children to raise and doing with it no-good men. However, they all were able to find love and it was true love. That is what I like about Ms. Coopers stories, they may be stories of strength and struggle, but love always conquers. I will always be a big fan of Ms. Coopers and I hope she has many more stories and novels to come.
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The Future Has a Past
The Future Has a Past by J. California Cooper (Hardcover - October 24, 2000)
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