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Jay Jennings is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in many national newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, Travel & Leisure, Lowbrow Reader, and Oxford American, where he was an editor from 2015 to 2021.
His most recent editing project is Charles Portis: Collected Works from the Library of America, published in April 2023. It contains the complete novels and much, but not all, other writing that was assembled in 2012 for Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany. That collection was named Book of the Year for 2012 by Books & Culture, and the New York Times Book Review called it “a thoughtfully composed selection of published work spiced with rare and fresh material.” Jennings has recently completed a screenplay, with TV writer Graham Gordy (Rectify, Quarry), adapted from Portis’s 1979 novel, The Dog of the South. He has often spoken about True Grit and Charles Portis under the National Endowment for the Arts’ Big Read program.
Jennings’s book Carry the Rock: Race, Football and the Soul of an American City, about the Little Rock (Ark.) Central High School football team fifty years after the 1957 integration crisis, was recently reissued in a revised edition with a new author’s preface by the University of Arkansas Press. The Wall Street Journal’s review said the book “transcends the season-on-the-brink genre.”