In the journalist Marni Jackson’s debut novel Don’t I Know You?, the main character, Rose, takes a canoe trip with Leonard Cohen, Taylor Swift and Karl Ove Knausgaard. And wouldn’t you know it, when we asked Jackson who was floating her own boat these days, she told us that she wouldn’t want to be up the creek without Cohen and Knausgaard. As for the celebrity dater and pop star Swift, we guess she’ll be stuck on Jackson’s next trip doing the paddling.
What she’s listening to: “I had a chance to listen to an advance copy of You Want It Darker, the upcoming album by Leonard Cohen. It sounds like a heavenly choir at first, but upon closer inspection the priest is wearing a fedora and tap shoes. At 82, the singer’s voice is naked here like never before. The songs are stark but warm, intimate but formal, and beautifully produced (with a male chorus, a Montreal cantor and a violin) by his son Adam Cohen.”
What she’s watching: “I caught Andrea Arnold’s American Honey at TIFF, and the movie’s got big problems with its story about a van full of young underclass souls drifting through America. But as with all of Arnold’s films, I will never forget it. On television, I’m ready to bite into the new HBO series Divorce, starring an unperky Sarah Jessica Parker and written by the wonderful Sharon Horgan. I loved her very brash and funny British series, Catastrophe.”
What she’s reading: “A pile of good things: Nutshell, by Ian McEwan, is a novel told from the point of view of a fetus in utero – but a very elegant, opinionated and witty fetus. I was so impressed by his last book, The Children Act, too. I’m half way through Maria Semple’s Today Will Be Different, a scrappy, original novel about a woman raising a small boy, and who is determined to be less of a mess than she is. The book wrangles many genres, from graphic novel to poetry, with an energy that feels fresh and contemporary. Also (inevitably) I am reading Some Rain Must Fall, the fifth book of the Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard’s autobiographical My Struggle series.”
Marni Jackson appears at the Vancouver Writers Fest, Oct. 19, 21 and 22.Report Typo/Error