Prolific writer and playwright J. California Cooper has died at the age of 82, a family friend has confirmed to

Cooper passed away peacefully in Seattle, Washington on September 20th, with daughter Paris Williams by her side.

The Berkley-native was best known for her short stories and plays including Strangers, which earned a 1978 Black Playwright Award. Cooper authored six short story collections including A Piece of Mine, Homemade Love (winner of the 1989 American Book Award), Some Soul to Keep, The Matter is Life, Some Love, Some Pain, Sometime, and Wild Stars Seeking Midnight Suns. Her short story Funny Valentine was turned into a 1999 TV movie.

Cooper moved from California to Seattle in 2013, where she continued to write and spend time surrounded by family and friends. Funeral information has not yet been released.