The Anthropologist’s Daughter

Barking Rain Press
ISBN paperback 978-1-941295-13-7
ISBN eBook 978-1-941295-14-4
210 pages, paperback
Available from book suppliers everywhere, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Waterstones. This book may also be purchased in various forms from the publisher's site.


How do you help someone who is grieving, when you are grieving yourself? After the death of her mother, ten-year-old Imogen Hearne moves from London with her older sister, Rosalind, and her father to Farleigh, a rural village in North Devon where her father's family has deep roots. Her father hides his grief by burying himself in his work at the university, while Rosalind vents her anguish by acting up and running off with friends - leaving Immy to fend for herself. To pass the time, Immy decides to take after her father and become an anthropologist, studying the different ways that people manage grief. As she wanders through the village and the countryside to study the locals, she watches, listens, and makes notes, looking for clues she can use to bring her fractured family back together again. This moving prequel to The Revolving Year is a welcome reunion with familiar and much-loved characters and places.


"Vanessa Furse Jackson has written a story that is genuine, nostalgic, funny and poignant. As Immy walks the line between childhood and adulthood, we see village life unfold through her eyes. The patchwork quilt of Immy's collected observations becomes a source of entertainment, wisdom, and comfort. I felt like I was there, spending the summer in the English countryside with her." Val Muller, author, The Scarred Letter and The Girl Who Flew Away.

"An achingly poignant glimpse into a young girl's search for her place in the world, whose anthropological study of the people around her becomes an unexpected excavation of her own motherless family. Vanessa Furse Jackson vividly and deftly pits the adolescent yearnings for self-assurance and independence against the strength of enduring love that binds families together." Jennifer Leeper, author, Padre: The Narrowing Path.

The Revolving Year
Barking Rain Press
ISBN 978-1935460824
232 pages, paperback.
Available from book suppliers everywhere, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Waterstones. This book may also be purchased in various forms from the publisher's site.


Devonshire, England—1999. It just might be the end of the world for 35-year-old Imogen Hearne. First, she learns that her beloved older sister has breast cancer, followed by the news that the lease on the small cottage that has been her home for the past ten years will be cancelled in January 2000. The only bright spot on the horizon seems to be an extended visit from her niece Celia, who has recently dropped out from university. But Celia’s visit may turn out to be the cruelest blow of all. For in the midst of Millennium fever, Immy falls unexpectedly — and mutually — in love with Celia’s fiancé. As the year 2000 looms ever closer, Immy will soon be forced to make a life-altering decision. Should she accept this once-in-a-lifetime gift of love, or deny it for the sake of holding together the small, fragile family she treasures?


“Engrossing exposé of the twists and turns of family dynamics, all in the name of love. Ms. Jackson draws the relationships between her characters in such fine detail that the reader is charmed and appalled by turns on the affect that each one has on the life of the others.” — Adele Abbot, author, Postponing Armageddon and Of Machines & Magics

“A fascinating character study of unintended consequences set loose in a disparate family circle.” — Sean Mulcahy, author, Slip Sliding Away

Crane Creek, Two Voices 

Poems by Robb Jackson and Vanessa Furse Jackson
Publication Date: May 11, 2011
ISBN 978-1-56474-511-8
80 pages, paperback, $14.00
Available here (
Publisher's Site


This collection tells the story of the first year in a relationship between two poets. The antiphonal voices describe their adventures exploring the natural world of northern Ohio, specifically Crane Creek, on the shore of Lake Erie, and sometimes also on the banks of the nearby Maumee River. One poet, Robb grew up in and near this setting; the other, Vanessa, is from England, and hence experiences many of the natural wonders of New World for the first time. At the heart of the narrative lies the shared experience of falling in love, against and within the changing seasons, and among the wide, wild varieties of birds, mammals, insects, and plants. The poems form a nature guide, to an area and to the wild territory of new love. 

Small Displacements

Livingston Press
170 pages, 9x6, ISBN 1604890509
Available here (

Winner of the 2011 PEN Southwest Award for Fiction


These stories examine what can happen when people leave their habitual environments and venture into uncharted territory, whether physically or in the mind. They may not journey far, and the ensuing displacements may be comparatively small, but the consequences are often unforeseen and considerable. In the title story, an elderly woman faces handing over her beloved house to her son and moving to an extension in the garden. In "The Clinic", fourteen-year-old Madeleine must confront the place to which pregnancy has brought her, while his idea of "A Nice Day Out" doesn't quite live up to the expectations of the eager Mr. Whitby. Other stories concern marital discord, the nature of grief, the results of finding themselves on untested ground. Characters are displaced by discontentment, by distance, by deceit, by death. Some of them move on through their displacements. Some are reluctant to face what has happened to them. All are caught in situations that alter in some way the comfortable landscapes of familiarity.


Small Displacement, with its variety, humor, quiet power, and, most of all, its thorough assumption of its characters’ minds and voices, deserves a much wider readership than usually responds to a subtle and artistic work put out by a small university press.”
            - Donald Mace Williams in The Wichita Eagle

ISBN: 978-1-60489-051-8 Trade paper $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-60489-050-1 Library binding $27

(Publisher's Site)

What I Cannot Say to You

Stories by Vanessa Furse Jackson

University of Missouri Press
184 pages, 6x9, ISBN 0-8262-14630

From the Publisher:

Set in England, these are stories that explore the basic nature of friendship: how friendships are formed and deepened, how they can be betrayed and lost. There are friendships between children, married couples, sisters, women, and between grandparents and grandchildren. Throughout, these friendships are tested, coming up against outside forces and internal conflicts that alter or destroy them... (Read More).


"What I Cannot Say to You is a rich, skillful, and powerful collection, treating weighty matter with a light and lingering touch." - Trudy Lewis

Forthright, honest, well crafted." - Kirkus Reviews

"... Jackson writes, with an appealing mix of poignancy and ironic humor, of the bonds that connect friends and lovers and families." -

The Poetry of Henry Newbolt: Patriotism Is Not Enough


ELT Press, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
224 pp., ISBN 0-944318-08-8

From the Publisher:
"Vanessa Furse Jackson gives us a fresh look at the man, his poetry and their historical context ..."


"English author Newbolt (1862-1938), a celebrated man of letters at the turn of the century, is today most often typecast as the leading jingoist of the Edwardian age, not unlike Kipling was until recently. Jackson, a great-granddaughter of Newbolt, presents a reexamination of the man, his poetry, and their historical context." - Book News, Inc.