Paul M.M. Cooper
About the Author
Paul M.M. Cooper
Paul Cooper was born in South London and grew up in Cardiff, Wales. He was educated at the University of Warwick and the UEA, and after graduating he left for Sri Lanka to work as an English teacher, where he took time to explore the ruins both ancient and modern. He has worked as an archivist, editor and journalist, and has a PhD in the cultural and literary significance of ruins. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, The BBC, The Atlantic, National Geographic, and Discover Magazine. His first novel, River of Ink, was published in January 2016, and his second novel, All Our Broken Idols will be released in May 2020.
All Our Broken Idols
To the god of old things
To the gods of the riverbank
To the god of hunters
Assyria, in the reign of Ashurbanipal. For Aurya and her daydreaming brother Sharo, every day is a struggle for survival, as they dodge the beatings of their drunken father and scrabble for scraps of food. One violent evening, everything changes. Soon, they are on the barge of King Ashurbanipal, bound for the beautiful, near-mythical city of Nineveh. Their fates become inextricably bound to that of the king - and the injured lion captured by his men.
Twenty-six centuries later, British-Iraqi archaeologist Katya joins a dig in Mosul to protect the ancient ruins of Nineveh from organised looters, following in the footsteps of her dead father. When she and Salim, a fellow archaeologist, discover an astonishingly beautiful and rare carving, they know their find will bring the world's attention to Mosul. But the real world crashes in to their studious idyll to catastrophic, devastating effect when ISIL storm Mosul - and take Katya, Salim and local girl Lola hostage.
"All Our Broken Idols is hauntingly evocative, a novel in which past and present lives intertwine and stories travel across the ages. It is a story about the importance of art and the threat it poses to those in power. And it is about bravery; standing up for what you believe in, and who you love."
River of Ink
Immerse yourself in the history of Sri Lanka in RIVER OF INK: a tale of love and betrayal, power and poetry.
An extraordinary debut. Paul M.M. Cooper is writer of real talent. River of Ink is what historical fiction should be: immersive, illuminating and captivating.
- The Times
From his humble village beginnings, Asanka has risen to the prestigious position of court poet in the great island kingdom of Lanka, delighting in a life of ease. But when the ruthless invader Kalinga Magha violently usurps the throne, Asanka's world is changed beyond imagination. To his horror, the king tasks him with the translation of an epic poem designed to civilise his subjects and snuff out the fires of rebellion…
Asanka has always believed that poetry makes nothing happen, but as lines on the page become cries in the street he learns that true power lies not at the point of a sword, but in the tip of a pen.
FALL OF CIVILIZATIONS
Paul is the host of the Fall of Civilizations podcast, a history podcast looking at the collapse of a different civilization each episode. I want to ask:
What did they have in common?
Why did they fall?
And what did it feel like to watch it happen?
AVAILABLE ON ALL PODCASTING PLATFORMS
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Get In Touch
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