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.
Paul 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, New Scientist and Discover Magazine.
His first novel, River of Ink, was published in January 2016, and his second novel, All Our Broken Idols was released in May 2020. His upcoming work of nonfiction, Fall of Civilizations: Stories of Greatness and Decline will be released in April 2024.
He writes, produces and hosts the Fall of Civilizations podcast, which has charted in the top ten British podcasts, and gained upwards of 100 million listens since it launched in 2019.
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.
All Our Broken Idols
To the god of old things
To the gods of the riverbank
To the god of hunters
Assyria, 7th century BC. For Aurya and her daydreaming brother, every day is a struggle till their fates become inextricably bound to that of King Ashurbanipal, and they find themselves bound for the beautiful, near-mythical city of Nineveh.
Twenty-six centuries later, British-Iraqi archaeologist Katya joins a dig in Mosul to protect the ancient ruins of Nineveh from organised looters. When a rare carving is discovered, they know their find will attract the world's attention. But everything changes when ISIL lays siege on Mosul.
"Two timelines weave together in this provocative, compelling and beautifully written novel"
― The Times
The Times Historical Fiction Book of the Month
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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