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Our thoughts go out to Puerto Rico during this difficult time.

Wyatt Cooper on Families: A Memoir and a Celebration

Wyatt Cooper reads from his book, Families: A Memoir and a Celebration, and is interviewed by Charles Ruas. His wife is Gloria Vanderbilt and sons are Carter and journalist Anderson Cooper. After being asked to write about the concept of “the family” in the 20th century, Cooper produced a biography on his family. From enjoying countryside picnics to admiring urban horseback riding patrol officers, he reflects on his traditional southern upbringing and raising his own family in New York City. Cooper talks about past pressures to marry out of necessity and contemporary desires to do so out of want and desire. He recognizes this change in the family unit and seeks to celebrate it and define it as something that is necessitated by planting roots and building a connection to a certain time and place. This connection, Cooper believes, allows one to create an identity within the history of the place that one identifies with.

Families: A Memoir and a Celebration was published in 1975 by Harper & Row.

Originally recorded in 1975, this program has been restored by The Clocktower Radio; with the assistance of Charles Ruas. If you are interested in hearing another segment in which Wyatt Cooper is featured, click here.


Historic Audio from the Archives of Charles Ruas


A unparalleled collection of recovered and restored programs from the seventies produced by Charles Ruas for WBAI-FM, New York's Pacifica station. It features reading, lectures, and performances by such cultural and literary icons as Allen Ginsberg, John Giorno, Anaïs Nin, William Boroughs, Buckminster Fuller, Sylvia Plath, Pablo Neruda, and Jorge Luis Borges, among numerous others. Ruas is the author of Conversations with American Writers, a Fulbright scholar, and a distinguished French translator. He is also a contributor to ARTNews and Art in America. This series is produced in partnership with Charles Ruas, The Pacifica Radio Archives, The Yale Beinecke Library, The Columbia University Rare Book & Manuscript Collection, and numerous restorers, archivists and collectors.