The figurative language of Jenny Jackson

Reading time: About 1 minute

I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a simile and a metaphor from Jenny Jackson….

Jenny Jackson has an unusual back-story for an author. She’s a Vice President and Executive Editor at Alfred A. Knopf. A graduate of Williams College and the Columbia Publishing Course, she lives in Brooklyn Heights with her family.

Her authors include Cormac McCarthy, Emily St. John Mandel, Chris Bohjalian, Gabrielle Zevim, Peter Heller, Katherine Heiny, Jennifer Close, Esmeralda Santiago, Helen Ellis and the actress Selma Blair.

Jenny Jackson wrote her first novel Pineapple Street — about an exceptionally wealthy family living in Brooklyn —  in just four months after she read a New York Times article about the ambivalent relationship millennial one-percenters have with the millions they stand to inherit.

I read the book while on holiday and raced through it like a beach read. It had interesting characters, a “grabby” plot, and clean, clear writing. I also appreciated her keen sense of humour.

Sold for a reported seven figures in April 2021, the novel is under option as a TV series by the production company PictureStart. It also earned a positive review from Kirkus, which described it as a, “remarkably enjoyable visit with the annoying one percent, as close to crazy rich WASPs as WASPs can get.”

While I don’t usually look for figurative language in beach reads, Pineapple Street still gave me two fine examples:

  • They were meant to live in a drafty old limestone, meant to creak and age along with their antiques, and seeing her mom and dad puttering around a glossy marble kitchen island sometimes felt like watching Ben Franklin using a Nintendo Switch.
  • Poppy was the ringleader, bossing the other children in her tiny, shrill voice, sounding more seagull than human, and Darley wondered briefly if it was wrong to hate the sound of a child’s voice.
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