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Small Displacements Paperback – June 30, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Livingston Press; 1 edition (June 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604890517
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604890518
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,752,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Vanessa Furse Jackson comes originally from England. However, married to an Ohio native, she s been resident in the United States for over twenty years and currently lives and writes in South Texas, where she teaches English at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

More About the Author

Vanessa Furse Jackson


Vanessa Furse Jackson comes originally from England. However, married to an Ohio native, she's been resident in the United States for over twenty years and currently lives and writes in Corpus Christi, Texas, on the Gulf of Mexico.

Having spent ten years in professional theatre in London, Vanessa went back to college in Chichester, England, in her early thirties. She received a first-class Honours degree in Related Arts, then embarked on what proved to be an extended adventure in the United States. After marrying a fellow graduate student and poet, Robb Jackson, she received two degrees from Bowling Green State University, an MFA in Creative Writing in 1986 and a Ph.D. in English in 1990. Vanessa and Robb are now both Professors of English at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, where they teach literature and creative writing.

A book about her great grandfather, THE POETRY OF HENRY NEWBOLT: PATRIOTISM IS NOT ENOUGH, was published in 1994 by ELT Press. Her first collection of stories, WHAT I CANNOT SAY TO YOU, was published in 2003 by the University of Missouri Press, and her second collection, SMALL DISPLACEMENTS, came out in June 2010 from Livingston Press. A book of poetry, co-authored with her husband Robb Jackson, entitled CRANE CREEK, TWO VOICES, was published by Fithian Press in 2011.

Book Award: SMALL DISPLACEMENTS won the PEN Texas 2011 Southwest prize for fiction. The judge, novelist Matt Bondurant, said, "These are gorgeously written, heartrending stories of human beings making their way in this world and finding truth, despite its terrible costs. This is a story collection that reaffirms my faith in literature."

Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alice Berecka on July 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have always believed that artistry is found in the subtle. If true, than it abounds in this collection stories which is deftly penned and set in England. In each story some type of displacement has occurred and the main characters must learn to deal with their altered environs. These are stories driven by characters and often by the characters' relationships with each other. These stories in essence are about what is to belong, or to love, be it in a nursing home, a rain soaked graveyard or abortion clinic. The characters are varied as well. You'll meet gang members, widows, and one eerie momma's boy to name but a few. I enjoyed the read and believe that Small Displacements belongs on many bedside tables and bookshelves.

Alan Berecka
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By Mary W. Savoy on December 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very good read, short stories that are quite thought provoking. I enjoyed them and they stayed in my mind.
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By Dr. Mike on August 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
These realistic short stories minutely detail bittersweet alienation within universal human experiences. The cycles of life, from childhood in "Wild Dogs" and "The Clinic," to marital conflicts in "Rain" and "Consequences," to old age in "The Albert Memorial" and "Grieving for Man" reveal how change disrupts all human balance, proving that emotional displacements, even though "small," are still disquieting.
In the title story, "Suzanna had never wanted to live anywhere but here, where she was born." Yet this 72-year-old grandmother cannot keep her house any more than she can prevent cancer from returning to her body. For her own good, she will have to move to "a small flat nearer to health centres and shops,,,," Her son and family have moved in, and the second pregnancy of his wife offers the only consolation the story affords.
Most of these tales enjoy an indeterminate ending, letting readers decide what future awaits its main characters. Will Mr. Whitby, on his "Nice Day Out," succumb to the heat and die? The last we read of him, he has climbed over a gate "into the winter night." Will Madeleine, having fled the abortion clinic, reach her boyfriend on the cell phone and keep her baby? Will Anna and Hal successfully restart their troubled marriage in "Consequences," or will Bella in "Rain" elicit affection from her husband Jonathan? "Being married don't mean trying to be one person," the wandering widower Ben advises.
Probably my favorite in this collection is "Miss Best and Mr. Marvel," which slowly discloses the two main speakers to be elderly in a nursing home, remembering the past and making it up as they go along. The wry humor that infects this couple's conversation is most delightful. At her best, Vanessa Furse Jackson captures the essence of what it means to be human, in one unique character study after another. "Where adults were concerned," her young narrator in "The Wild Dogs" remarks, "we tended to feel guilty first and ask why later."
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