Selected from the range of Cooper's essays and reportage in Artforum, Bookforum, Detour, Interview, LA Weekly, Spin, and the Village Voice, among other publications, Smothered in Hugs presents the best nonfiction of one of America's greatest writers. Cooper has written on grave social issues, producing touchstone pieces for a generation of readers. His obituaries for Kurt Cobain, River Phoenix, and William S. Burroughs offer portraits that are both crystallizing and appropriately indefinite. His reckonings of contemporary writers are astute and unsparing. And, of course, he serves as witness to the work and play of an illustrious roster of cultural personalities—and does so with an acuity and fairness missing from most pop culture criticism.