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Publish Date: October 2012
I Will Not Leave You Comfortless
BY Jeremy Jackson
The eleventh year of life brings Jeremy Jackson his first love, the loss of his grandmother, and his sister’s departure for college—seemingly ordinary events that erode his innocence in a way that will never be fully repaired.
In tenderhearted, steadfast prose, he recalls the pastoral wonders of his rural childhood: thunderstorms roaring off the prairie, fresh milk in bottles, bicycle rides in September sunlight, and the horizon vanishing behind tall grasses. At once elegiac and startlingly direct, these fluid and powerful missives evoke the pain and beauty that mingle within even a happy childhood.
With storytelling informed by a profound sense of place and an emotional memory startlingly vivid, readers young and old will be transported and transformed by this coming-of-age tale.
BEYOND THE BOOK
• Reading I Will Not Leave You Comfortless for a book club? Keep the discussion lively with this Reading Group Guide.
• Jackson talks about unpacking childhood memories, longing for Midwestern weather, and almost getting married in fourth grade.
• Let Jeremy Jackson introduce you to his never-uneventful childhood in small-town Missouri: Listen to him read four chapters from I Will Not Leave You Comfortless.
“Jeremy Jackson writes about Missouri as the young Hemingway wrote about Michigan: with a clear eye; with hard-edged nostalgia; and (here’s the thing) with brilliance.”
—Darin Strauss, author of Half a Life
“I Will Not Leave You Comfortless shines and glides beautifully onward with Jackson’s eloquent language, his capturing of the subtle nuances, fears and joys of growing up, and his poetic descriptions of those lovely moments of being a child that many of us were fortunate to have experienced.”
—Jim Carmin, Star Tribune
“If you remember eating sweet corn in the summer and fishing in the creek and going camping with the Scouts and worrying if the girl you like will like you back, please take this lovely trip down memory lane. I promise, you won't regret it.”
“Jeremy Jackson’s swirling memoir is built upon layers of well-chosen detail—it remembers the weather, the geography, the history of plowed earth, the coal-smoke taste of coffee, and the aching love between the lines of handwritten letters. The result is like peering through a new lens at a familiar hillside, or walking through the pastures of your childhood and discovering they were bigger, not smaller, than you recall. Bigger, not smaller—now that is the mark of a generous writer.”
—Leif Enger, author of Peace Like a River and So Brave, Young, and Handsome