Jackson, Marni 1946-
JACKSON, Marni 1946-
PERSONAL: Born May 1, 1946, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; daughter of Clyde (an engineer) and Olive (a homemaker; maiden name, Hay) Jackson; married Brian Johnson (senior writer at Maclean's magazine); children: Casey. Hobbies and other interests: Violin, canoeing.
ADDRESSES: Home—53 Seymour Ave., Toronto, Ontario M45 3T3, Canada. Agent—Lucinda Vardey Agency, Ltd., 10 St. Marys, Suite 510, Toronto, Ontario M4Y 1P9, Canada.
CAREER: Journalist and nonfiction writer. Host of the literary program Imprint, TVO network.
MEMBER: Writers guild.
AWARDS, HONORS: National Magazine Awards for humor and travel; shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Humor Award, 1993; received honorary B.A. from Victoria College, University of Toronto.
The Mother Zone: Love, Sex and Laundry in the Modern Family, Macfarlane, Walter, & Ross (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1993.
Pain: The Fifth Vital Sign, Random House of Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2002.
Also author of several plays produced in Canada. Contributor to anthologies, including A Toronto Lampoon, edited by Wayne Grigsby, Eden Press, 1984; A.B.C. Lampoon, edited by Jane O'Hara, Douglas & MacIntyre, 1985; The Thinking Heart: Best Canadian Essays, edited by George Galt, Quarry Press, 1993; Local Colour, edited by Carol Martin, Douglas & MacIntyre, 1994; and Taking Risks: Literary Journalism from the Edge, edited by Barbara Moon and Don Obe, Banff Centre Press, 1998. Columnist for Toronto Life.
WORK IN PROGRESS: The Waiting Room, a screenplay.
SIDELIGHTS: The Mother Zone: Love, Sex, and Laundry in the Modern Family, published in 1993, is Marni Jackson's personal account of motherhood, from conception and birth to caring for her child through to his adolescence. Throughout her account, Jackson examines the difficulties in resolving her child's sometimes overwhelming needs with her own need to maintain her sense of self. "There are some wonderfully wise insights along the way," wrote Heather Menzies in Canadian Forum, though the critic also noted areas of interest Jackson did not pursue completely. Such compelling topics as how she resolved her feelings toward her husband, whose autonomy remained intact after the birth of their child, and how she learned to relinquish what Menzies called "her gender-given monopoly of knowledge and expertise in the area of baby management," are introduced but not discussed in depth, according to Menzies. Maclean's contributor Brian Fawcett, on the other hand, praised Jackson's handling of her subject: "From the acquisition of her baby's father to the sometimes nasty realities of childbirth . . . she demystifies and entertains."
Despite her criticism, Menzies dubbed the book "a gem of an account of mothering." In Booklist, Denise Perry Donavin remarked on the "sharp sarcasm" with which Jackson describes her attempts to separate her own identity from her child's and the mixture of painful and pleasurable emotions that motherhood evokes, and called the result "fun to read." Genevieve Stuttaford of Publishers Weekly described The Mother Zone as "humorous, frank and passionate," and concluded: "Entertaining and gutsy, [Jackson's] account will warm and console parents." In Maclean's, Fawcett stated that "Jackson makes a major contribution towards restoring the dignity that mothering children deserves."
Pain: The Fifth Vital Sign examines the "social history of pain," wrote Martha E. Stone in Library Journal, who called the book "breezily readable." Jackson uses stories from various friends and relatives, as well as from professionals in the field. William Beatty, in Booklist, found the book to be "lively reading."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, January 1, 1993, p. 776; March, 2002, William Beatty, review of Pain: The Fifth Vital Sign, p. 1199.
Canadian Forum, April, 1993, pp. 41-43.
Globe and Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), October 17, 1992, p. C24.
Library Journal, January, 1993; April 1, 2002, Martha E. Stone, review of Pain, p. 131.
Maclean's, October 19, 1992, p. 70.
Observer (Charlotte, NC), May 9, 1993.
Publishers Weekly, December 7, 1992, p. 50.
Marni Jackson Home Page,http://www.marnijackson.com/ (September 24, 2003).*