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Cooperative Village
by Frances Madeson
Publisher: Carol MRP Co. 2007
Category: Fiction20th centuryManhattanPoliticsNeighborhoods
Avg Rating: (2 reviews)
Called “anarchically funny” and “a blast of light in a dark time,” Cooperative Village is a ferociously comic novel which tells the tale of an ordinary New Yorker who becomes bound for “enemy combatant status”—and possible deportation to the Federal Detention Center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba—when her library card goes astray. An important contribution to Bush-era protest literature, this delightfully over-the-top tale of life, love and liberty in lower Manhattan is set in the last undiscovered demimonde of the Lower East Side—the eponymous Cooperative Village, a pressure-cooker cluster of 1950’s co-op apartment towers roiling with a dizzying social stew of laptop-wielding hipsters, stroller-pushing moms, and Messiah-Mobile-cruising Hasids, all sharing space with those feisty in-your-face octogenarians: the original Cooperators. A mixture of “uninhibited comedy and vehement politics,” Cooperative Village is a cauterizing satire of governmental dysfunction, illegality and inattention to basic human needs, fundamental civil rights and constitutionally guaranteed American liberties. Madeson also offers a prescriptive humanist road map, and as one character summarizes, “appreciation for the dream of cooperative living we’re trying to keep alive for all New Yorkers and progressive people everywhere.”

Reviews

Hilarious! - August 22nd, 2007
You'll be laughing out loud from start to finish. Lots of unexpected twists and turns in this outrageously funny tale.

The REAL Lower East Side - August 14th, 2007
Read it and weep -- from laughing! Now that Bush has approval ratings below 30 percent and his administration's days are numbered, perhaps we can begin to laugh with relief (instead of just raging, crying, or living in fear). In her page-turning novel, Frances Madeson has found a way to crystalize our historic American moment in a NY-centric tale that is at once laugh-out-loud funny, deeply wise, and a rallying cry for intelligent, humanistic cooperation in a modern-day U.S. gone nearly mad with the loss of civil liberties and good-ole-American common sense. Oh, yes, and then there's Mrs. Plotsky under a Neiman-Marcus coverlet in the laundry room...

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