What if some of the artists we feel as if we know—Meryl Streep, Neil Young, Bill Murray—turned up in the course of our daily lives?
This is what happens to Rose McEwan, an ordinary woman who keeps having strange encounters with famous people. In this engrossing, original novel-in-stories, we follow her life from age 17, when she takes a summer writing course led by a young John Updike, through her first heartbreak (witnessed by Joni Mitchell) on the island of Crete, through her marriage, divorce, and a canoe trip with Taylor Swift, Leonard Cohen and Karl Ove Knausgaard. (Yes, read on.)
With wit and insight, Marni Jackson takes a world obsessed with celebrity and turns it on its head. In Don't I Know You?, she shows us how fame is just another form of fiction, and how, in the end, the daily dramas of an ordinary woman’s life can be as captivating and poignant as any luminary tell-all.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Canadian journalist Marni Jackson’s first work of fiction is a collection of short vignettes that are poignant, wry, and very funny. Rose McEwan is an ordinary girl who, over the course of 50 years, manages to bump into a preposterous number of celebrities. In Jackson’s made-up world, these encounters become slightly surreal: Keith Richards is a boozy liver surgeon, Bob Dylan is a houseguest who engineers a stolen kiss, and Leonard Cohen doles out soft-serve cones and sympathy. These vivid, nuanced portraits keep Don't I Know You? from tipping into a gimmick, which is also a kind exploration of the love, heartache, and ambition that colour Rose's life.