I Will Not Leave You Comfortless
I Will Not Leave You Comfortless is the intimate memoir of a boy’s growing up in small-town Missouri, from a writer “known for beautifully expressive and strikingly lucid prose” (Thisbe Nissen).
In 1984, the eleventh year of his life, Jeremy Jackson experiences 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. Through tenderhearted, steadfast prose—redolent of the glories of outdoor life on the family farm—Jackson recalls the deeply sensual wonders of his rural Midwestern 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.
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Praise and Prizes
“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. Now that is the mark of a generous writer.”
“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. I was going to add that I Will Not Leave You Comfortless reads like fiction, because it’s well designed—but it doesn’t read exactly like fiction. And maybe it’s because every word of it is absolutely, searingly true.”
“In its openness, its lucidity, its leaps of empathy and its quiet perfectionism, this is one of the most daring and affecting memoirs I’ve read.”
“Abundantly evocative and resonant, I Will Not Leave You Comfortless is an elegy to childhood, to innocence, and to a certain kind of rural American life that Jeremy Jackson brings to visceral existence, here, in the hazy winter light of remembrance and in the sun-glow of memory. This book is full of the writing that Jackson is known for: beautifully expressive and strikingly lucid prose.”
“The air, the weather, the landscape, the emotions . . . all help locate us at the time of Jeremy Jackson’s youth and remind us of the noteworthy events of our own childhood. . . . 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.”
“I Will Not Leave You Comfortless immerses the reader in the sights, sounds and senses of a happy childhood in rural Missouri just before the digital revolution: a basketball hoop, the smell of pie, rumbling storms, a BB gun, the stain of sour mulberries underfoot in June. . . . This local coming-of-age memoir is a sweet record of a time and a place that was not Always On.”