Wednesday, September 9, 2009

T.P. Jones Novel Based on Dubuque

Here's a fascinating new novel based on the recent history of Dubuque, Iowa:
Jackson by T.P. Jones. Published by Synergy Books (September 1, 2009) , hardcover, 560 pages. "On the banks of the Mississippi in an Iowa city, the Jackson Meatpacking Company and its two thousand employees are in trouble. Cutthroat competition has driven the company to the brink of bankruptcy. Jackson's mayor, a packinghouse worker himself, proposes an employee buyout. However, the idea is quickly stolen from him by the company's CEO, who will do anything to save the packinghouse, even if it means putting his employees' life savings at risk. Soon the company board, the union and even rank-and-file employees are fighting to make the plan their own. The whole town is drawn into the battle over company survival, as the people of Jackson face a seemingly impossible choice." 15-page Excerpt (PDF, 76 KB)
According to the author's website , Jackson is the first novel in The Loss of Certainty Trilogy. The second novel, coming soon, will be based on racial tensions in the author's fictional version Dubuque, and the third book will be about a Mississippi River flood.

In an audio interview, author T.P. Jones describes how he gathered background information for his novels by living in Dubuque for two years in the 1980s. With permission of Dubuque city officials, Jones rode with Dubuque police, slept in local firehouses, collected garbage, worked on area farms, spent time at the greyhound track construction site, and interviewed workers at the Dubuque Packing Company.

To find out if Jones' fictional portrayal of Dubuque is fair and accurate, reserve your library copy today!

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