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Margo Jefferson

Born: 1947 in Chicago, Illinois
Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Jefferson is a Chicago native.

Biography: Margo Jefferson is a Pulitzer Prize winning author for criticism. She has served as book and arts critic for Newsweek and the New York Times. Her writing has appeared in, among other publications, Vogue, New York Magazine, The Nation, and Guernica. Her memoir, Negroland, received the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography. She is also the author of On Michael Jackson and is a professor of writing at Columbia University School of the Arts in New York City.


Awards:
    '''''Negroland'''''
  • -- National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography, 2016
  • -- Heartland Prize, Chicago Tribune, 2016
  • -- Notable Book, New York Times
  • -- Shortlisted, Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction
  • -- Best Books of the Year Lists, The Washington Post Los Angeles Times, Time, Vanity Fair, Marie Claire, Time Out New York, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Kansas City Star, Men's Journal, Oprah

Primary Literary Genre(s): Non-Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MargoJeffersonAuthor
IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0420208/
Website: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/59367/margo-jefferson
Website: https://www.thehistorymakers.org/biography/margo-jefferson
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margo_Jefferson


Selected Titles

Constructing a nervous system /
ISBN: 152474817X OCLC: 1252763617

"Stunning for her daring originality, the author of Negroland gives us what she calls "a temperamental autobiography," comprised of visceral, intimate fragments that fuse criticism and memoir. Margo Jefferson constructs a nervous system with pieces of different lengths and tone, conjoining arts writing (poem, song, performance) with life writing (history, psychology). The book's structure is determined by signal moments of her life, those that trouble her as well as those that thrill and restore. In this nervous system: The sounds of a black spinning disc of a 1950's jazz LP as intimate and instructive as a parent's voice. The muscles and movements of a ballerina, spliced with those of an Olympic runner: template for what a female body could be. Harriet Beecher Stowe's Topsy finds her way into the art of Kara Walker and the songs of Cécile McLorin Salvant. Bing Crosby and Ike Turner become alter egos. W.E.B. DuBois and George Eliot meet illicitly, as he appropriates lines from her story "The Hidden Veil" to write his famous "behind the veil" passages in The Souls of Black Folk. The words of multiple others (writers, singers, film characters, friends, family) act as prompts and as dialogue. The fragments of this brilliant book, while not neglecting family, race, and class, are informed by a kind of aesthetic drive: longing, ecstasy, or even acute ambivalence. Constructing a nervous system is Jefferson's relentlessly galvanizing mis en scene for unconventional storytelling as well as a platform for unexpected dramatis personae"--

Negroland :
ISBN: 0307473430 OCLC: 931642394

Pulitzer Prize–winning cultural critic Margo Jefferson was born in 1947 into upper-crust black Chicago. Her father was head of pediatrics at Provident Hospital, while her mother was a socialite. In these pages, Jefferson takes us into this insular and discerning society: "I call it Negroland," she writes, "because I still find 'Negro' a word of wonders, glorious and terrible." Negroland's pedigree dates back generations, having originated with antebellum free blacks who made their fortunes among the plantations of the South. It evolved into a world of exclusive sororities, fraternities, networks, and clubs--a world in which skin color and hair texture were relentlessly evaluated alongside scholarly and professional achievements, where the Talented Tenth positioned themselves as a third race between whites and "the masses of Negros," and where the motto was "Achievement. Invulnerability. Comportment." At once incendiary and icy, mischievous and provocative, celebratory and elegiac, Negroland is a landmark work on privilege, discrimination, and the fallacy of post-racial America.

On Michael Jackson /
ISBN: 0307277658 OCLC: 61445920

Pantheon Books, New York : ©2006.

From the Publisher: Margo Jefferson's On Michael Jackson is a lucid and elegant cultural analysis of the rise and fall of the King of Pop. An award-winning cultural critic, Jefferson brings an unexpected compassion as well as her sharp intellect and incomparable insight to Jackson's 2005 trial for child molestation, startling us with her erudite illumination of a media-drenched circus that we only thought we understood. As only she can, Jefferson reads between the lines of Jackson's 1998 autobiography as well as published accounts of his childhood, his family, and Motown-where Michael and his brothers first made the Jackson 5 a household name-leaving us with provocative and perhaps unanswerable questions about Jackson, child stardom, and fame itself.

 

 

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