Fall 2019: Jackie Shannon Hollis’s THIS PARTICULAR HAPPINESS

Forest Avenue Press has acquired its first memoir, THIS PARTICULAR HAPPINESS, by debut author Jackie Shannon Hollis of Aloha, Oregon.

THIS PARTICULAR HAPPINESS explores our most intimate conflicts and desires—about relationships, parenthood, and what makes a life meaningful.

Raised in rural Oregon in the 1960s, Jackie Shannon Hollis grew up playing “house” with baby dolls, riding horses, and tending to baby kittens and lambs on her family’s ranch. Other than her dear Aunt Lena, all of the women in Jackie’s life were mothers—of two, three, five, eight children. They cooked and baked, cleaned and washed, knitted and sewed, and they taught their daughters to do the same. Above all else, they were mothers.  Jackie assumed she’d become a mother too. It’s just what women did.

In her late twenties, after several failed relationships, Jackie finds herself in love with a man who does not want children. She marries him, certain she can be happy with a childless life. But just months into her marriage, she holds her sister’s baby girl and sinks deep into baby love and longing.

In THIS PARTICULAR HAPPINESS Jackie explores the conflict at the heart of her marriage, examining her reasons for wanting a child and her husband’s reasons for not wanting one, as they navigate the volatile terrain of deciding on their future together.

“I never expected to fall so hard for a memoir,” said Publisher Laura Stanfill, “but when I encountered THIS PARTICULAR HAPPINESS, I knew it would resonate deeply with readers—not just women who have made the childless choice, but a guide for the heart when two people who love each other want different things.”

Jackie Shannon Hollis grew up on a ranch near Condon a small farming community on the east side of Oregon. She left the farm to go to college on the west side of Oregon and stayed there after she fell in love with the green and the rain of the Willamette Valley. She and her husband Bill live in Portland, in a home their friends call the Tree House, for all the cedars out back.

Jackie’s short stories and essays have been published in a variety of literary magazines and anthologies including: The Sun Magazine, Rosebud Magazine, Slice Magazine, Cream City Review, VoiceCatcher Journal, South Dakota Review. She was selected as a finalist for the Obsidian Prize, the William Faulkner-William Wisdom creative Writing Award, the Cutbank Prize, and the Rosebud XJ Kennedy Prize for Non-fiction. She had the honor of being selected as a 2011 Hedgebrook resident.

Jackie leads writing workshops for people experiencing hardships, including homelessness, and has edited and published Writing Through It: Poems Stories and Essays at the Edge, an anthology of work from the writers attending these workshops (to be released in March, 2018).

Forest Avenue Press is a literary press based in Portland, Oregon, founded in 2012 and distributed by Publishers Group West. Interested booksellers and reviewers can contact us to be put on a media list for when we have galleys available.

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  1. Can’t wait to read this book, knowing how beautifully she writes, and how interesting here journey through life, family and children has been I am sure it is going to make a fantastic read.
    How great that she has been able to write this down and that someone has seen the power in it to publish it for us all to read.

    • Alan, I am so honored to be Jackie’s publisher! I believe in her story, I adore her voice, and I know there are readers out there who have been waiting for a book like Jackie’s to come into the world.

  2. Stacey Hayes Walker says:

    I know this will be wonderful. I grew up in the same place. My mother was one of those mothers. Loved both your patents, Jackie.

  3. Stacey Hayes Walker says:

    Oops. That was Parents.

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