Praise for Don’t I Know You?

Don’t I Know You? is full of surprises in the best possible way. A premise so unlikely you could never describe it and writing so beautiful you could never believe it. Jackson’s prose is quicker than a mongoose, sharper than a scalpel—and full of read-aloud sentences. She takes the familiar and makes it fantastical and then makes it familiar again. It’s an almost impossible achievement, yet Jackson does it again and again, and—best of all—you never see it coming.”

— Katherine Heiny, author of Single, Carefree, Mellow

“I knew Marni Jackson first as a gifted, intrepid journalist. Now I know her (suddenly and obviously) as a radiant new voice in fiction. Don’t I Know You? is sexy and shrewd, a work of glaring imagination conjured with journalistic observation and instinct.”

— Terry McDonell, ASME Hall of Fame editor, author of The Accidental Life

“There is so much to praise in this brilliant collection: Marni Jackson’s daring and intelligence, her gentle humor and unencumbered prose, her eye for the beautiful and hidden, and, above all, her creation of a heroine as appealing and valiant as any I’ve encountered in recent fiction.”

— Barbara Gowdy, award-winning author of The White Bone and Helpless

“Alternately hilarious and heartbreaking, this whip-smart debut imagines its heroine through a series of encounters with celebrities, creating an intimate, indelible portrait of a woman’s extraordinary life.”

— Semi Chellas, writer, co-executive producer, Mad Men

Praise for Pain: The Fifth Vital Sign (2002)

Pain is a work of real originality and freshness, full of insights that seem both startling and obvious.”

— Oliver Sacks, M.D.

“Jackson’s book is a timely and necessary contribution to this important dialogue.”

— The Globe and Mail

“Jackson’s compelling voice, in turns perfectly ironic, intrigued, and introspective, carries readers through no fewer than 33 chapters. Her vibrant curiosity and fearless theorizing makes this book far-reaching in scope, interest and, yes, profundity”

— The Vancouver Sun

“Marni Jackson bravely tackles one of the most misunderstood and elusive subjects known to mankind. In so doing, she gives words to something that stubbornly defies language. This has to be one of the most difficult literary tasks imaginable. An important book.”

— NOW magazine

“Given that this medicalized, pain-ridden society is ours for a while, we had better keep this book beside the bed and absorb its comfort and compassion in large doses.”

— The Kingston Whig-Standard, The Gazette (Montreal)

“Engrossing. Jackson, a skilled and sensitive writer, argues that science must learn learn to listen and respond and that doctors need to look beyond isolated symptoms to find the underlying story.”

— The Edmonton Journal

“Absorbing. If all her new book did was inform readers about this unexplored terrain, the Pain: The Fifth Vital Sign would be worth reading. But it does much more: it entertains, challenges and, ultimately, enlightens.”

— The Montreal Gazette]

“… Behind Jackson’s wandering encounters pulses a compelling argument for putting culture back into our thinking about pain… Culture shapes our experience of pain. The stories we tell about our pain are essential to our understanding of it. Propelled by curiosity and a lucid and accessible intelligence, Jackson’s book is a timely and necessary contribution to this important dialogue.”

— Catherine Bush, author of The Rules of Engagement, Clair’s Head, and Accusation .

“In Pain: The Fifth Vital Sign, Marni Jackson bravely tackles one of the most misunderstood and elusive subjects known to humankind. In so doing, she gives words to something that stubbornly defies language. This has to be one of the most difficult literary tasks imaginable.”

— Elizabeth Bromstein, NOW Magazine

“Far-reaching and idiosyncratic … Jackson is the ideal guide for this exploration. With her personal and personable perspective, she acts as a surrogate for the reader, simplifying complex issues … and humanizing often abstract concepts. Jackson leavens this very serious subject matter with a wicked and subversive sense of humour.”

— Quill & Quire

“…A breezily readable social history of pain. Recommended for popular nonfiction collections in public libraries.

— Library Journal, Martha E. Stone, Massachusetts General Hospital. Lib. Boston.

Praise for “The Mother Zone”

“An exuberant, generous-hearted book about the experience of motherhood and the impact of that experience on her life and work … The writing is intelligent, reflective and touchingly brave … Jackson possesses a novelist’s eye and ear.”

— Carol Shields, The Globe and Mail

“It reads like a novel, as intimate as a poem…With a gift for metaphor, good humour, and remarkable honesty [Jackson] calls up the feelings and minutiae of motherhood… This wonderful self-portrait of emotional life in the mother zone provides solace and surprises from start to finish.”

Kirkus Reviews

“A worthy companion to Dr. Spock on every parent’s bookshelf.”


“It is hard to find anything that conveys the complex emotional truth about being a mother—the rage, the tenderness, the loss of self, the paralyzing fear, the numbing drudgery… The exception may be Marni Jackson’s new book, The Mother Zone… This book, with its humour, depth and compassion, could be a long-overdue manifesto for mothers, the beginning of an undeclared revolution.”

— Sue Riley, The Ottawa Citizen

“Humorous, frank and passionate… Entertaining and gutsy, her account will warn and console parents.”

Publishers Weekly

“A wonderful memoir of what motherhood is really like…fun to read, eye-opening, humorous and exasperating.”

Library Journal

“A witty and honest account of the strange isolation, the mingled joys and madness of motherhood…funny, tough and relentless, pushing each thought as far as she can bear.”

— Brian Fawcett, Maclean’s

“Truly one of the most enjoyable reads of the season…Jackson makes the pages crackle in the manner of Fay Weldon or Nora Ephron.”

ROB Magazine

“You’ve got to read The Mother Zone.”

Kingston Whig-Standard

“A terrific book…Jackson concocts a refreshing tonic out of the comedy of errors we call family life…a treat for weary parents of either sex.”

Quill & Quire

“Delightful… funny, touching, reassuring, a revelation. The Mother Zone is a marvelous combination of personal experience tempered by intellectual observation… flashes of recognition occur on every page…a must-read for all modern mothers.”

Books in Canada

“I was hooked… Jackson’s writing is so succinct, so perceptive and flows so easily that it keeps the reader enthralled… her themes are so universal that anyone who has ever been a mother, had a mother, knows a mother, will know exactly what she’s talking about.”

Kitchener-Waterloo Record

“Irresistibly funny… Poignant insight and a style that lured me to read the thing at stoplights… Drop all your preconceived ideas about mothering at the front cover… Marni Jackson’s first-hand account of motherhood deserves a category all its own.”

Charlotte Observer

“Jackson gives readers back to themselves, the best thing a book can do.”

Edmonton Journal

Praise for Home Free: The Myth of The Empty Nest

This is a wonderful book. It’s witty, well written, personal, and will make you smile and shake your head in agreement with her words. For any woman who is raising teenage children, this is the book to make you feel that you are not alone. Jackson addresses the changes in lifestyles of our twenty something children, reassures us when our children don’t follow the path that has, since now, worked. She writes “I knew how useless a B.A in liberal arts had become. But the parent part of my brain had swollen to such unseemly proportions that I still believed university was the last good daycare, the safest channel to a secure future in our unravelling, unforgiving world.” When I read this I breathed a sigh of relief. I wasn’t alone and yes, we need to trust that they will find their way.

— 5.0 out of 5 stars from a parent of a twenty-something on

“Though Home Free is built around her own experiences, Jackson’s use of statistics and academic references lends weight to her idea that the boomers have set their children up, if not to fail, then certainly to be on a slower course to adulthood than any generation before… Jackson compares and contrasts generations throughout the book—not only her own and her son’s, but also that of her parents. The result is a thoughtful and thought-provoking work.”
— Quill & Quire