Jackson, Jeremy 1973-
JACKSON, Jeremy 1973-
Born 1973, in OH. Education: Graduated from Vassar College; attended Iowa Writers Workshop.
Home—Iowa City, IA. Agent—c/o Author Mail, HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd St., Seventh Floor, New York, NY 10022.
Writer. Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, professor of English.
Life at These Speeds (novel), Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2002.
The Cornbread Book: A Love Story with Recipes, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.
Desserts That Have Killed Better Men than Me, Morrow (New York, NY), 2004.
In Summer (novel), Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Good Day for a Picnic: Good Food That Travels Well, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.
Contributor of articles about food to the Chicago Tribune.
Film rights to Life at These Speeds have been sold.
Jeremy Jackson was born in Iowa, and the author has credited his upbringing there as being the source of his deep interest in, and love for, cornmeal and cornbread. As a toddler, one winter when it was too bitterly cold for a small child to go outside and play he was even given cornmeal in a pan to play with in lieu of a sandbox. The Cornbread Book: A Love Story with Recipes is Jackson's passionate exploration of cornbread history and heritage. It includes recipes using cornmeal in a variety of ways, recommendations for best methods of storing cornmeal, choosing cornmeal variety, and the best equipment to use when cooking with cornmeal. The author also urges readers to contact their representatives in government and lobby to have cornbread named the official bread of the United States. Mary Ann Smyth, a reviewer for Bookloons, advised readers to "enjoy the author's dry wit and be sure to leaf to the very back of this wonderful little treasure to find the words and music to the Cornbread Song." In addition to The Cornbread Book, Jackson has written two other books about food: Good Day for a Picnic: Good Food That Travels Well, and Desserts That Have Killed Better Men than Me, which was recommended as a "charmingly small treasure" by John Charles in Library Journal.
Jackson has also written two novels: Life at These Speeds and In Summer. The former concerns Kevin Schuler, a high-school track star who is the only member of his team to survive an accident following a track meet. After the tragedy, Kevin claims to hate running, but it also serves as his way of escaping his emotional pain, and he begins to perform so well that he routinely sets new records. Kevin is "an unpredictable and unique protagonist who defies categorization," according to Gavin Quinn in Booklist, who recommended Life at These Speeds as "well worth reading." A Publishers Weekly reviewer found the book somewhat flawed, but added that "this debut has an undeniably quirky charm."
In Summer centers on Leo Perry, an innocent, sensitive boy, during the summer between his high school graduation and college. Leo's father is deceased, and when the teen accidentally learns that his mother is terminally ill, he must struggle to cope with this traumatic news. Booklist reviewer Jennifer Mattson wrote that while the book's symbolism is not always subtle, she predicted that many readers would be gratified by Leo's story, adding: "The flow of Jackson's lean prose, eddying around submerged emotions, exerts an undeniable pull."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, July, 2002, Gavin Quinn, review of Life at These Speeds, p. 1821; January 1, 2003, review of Life at These Speeds, p. 795; February 15, 2004, Mark Knoblauch, review of Desserts That Have Killed Better Men than Me, p. 1015; April 15, 2004, Jennifer Mattson, review of In Summer, p. 1425.
Hollywood Reporter, June 23, 2004, "Duo Racing with Jackson's Speeds, "p.27.
Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2004, review of In Summer, p. 243.
Library Journal, March 15, 2003, Judith Sutton, review of The Cornbread Book: A Love Story with Recipes, p. 110; January, 2004, John Charles, review of Desserts That Have Killed Better Men than Me, p. 148.
Publishers Weekly, July 1, 2002, review of Life at These Speeds, p. 53; April 19, 2004, review of In Summer, p. 40.
BookLoons.com,http://www.bookloons.com/ (October 28, 2004), Mary Ann Smyth, review of The Cornbread Book: A Love Story with Recipes.
HarperCollins Web site, http://www.harpercollins.com/ (October 28, 2004), interview with Jackson.*