Joining the literary elite is a complex feat. Coming from a theatrical background (Jackson is best known as a playwright) and moving into producing books could be classed as dangerous and potentially even career destroying. But a New York magician of plays has done it with credibility and sheer ability. He has proven that utilizing your skills in another writing field can be a beneficial for the mind and the faithful.
Jeff Jackson is that magician and in his book Mira Corpora, he splashes his magic around like a child in a swimming pool. Verve and imagination is paramount as well as the storytelling, and the American writer implements those three important things brilliantly. By focusing on his life, he gives the reader the option of being sympathetic, challenging the observer to judge him.
The novel is autobiographical and tells the story of Jackson's weird and conflicted childhood. A childhood mangled somewhat. But he describes it with wit and intelligence. Never falling profoundly into clichés or feelings of inferiority, he completely spills all, letting the strings snap and the weight of his dreams cascade. There are also bundles of bizarreness to be unwrapped.
Jackson narrates the story beautifully, adding snippets of fantasy to bring the book to life. He conveys heated confrontations with his Mother too, which provoke him to leave and to fall into bad ways. He becomes homeless and disenchanted, walking the streets with a mind polluted, and he is disarmed of all goodness and happiness. The story then takes an uncanny twist. Jackson becomes a prostitute for an older gentlemen. This is when the book becomes a very intense read; you begin to feel sorry for the protagonist, your head tries to map out what will happen next. It's enthralling and complex. He eventually escapes the dirty hands of his distasteful puppeteer… leading him back into the watchful eyes of his Mother. He's back to square one.
The book can make the heart twitch. It's very dark and sombre at times, subtle and fierce. Jackson does a wonderful job in creating a fictional world. He writes with a tone of emotion and sincerity, clawing at the seams of clarity for answers. Mira Corpora is memorable and riveting novel which showcases a revered playwright’s other talents. Jackson operates his abilities like a machine that shoots out glitter and gold.
Mira Corpora by Jeff Jackson is published by The Friday Project