Buzzy Jackson is an award-winning author, book critic, historian, and casual anti-puritan.

Author Photo

Author Photo

She grew up in Truckee, California, a small town near Lake Tahoe best known for its alpenglow, the Bar of America, the Friends of the Truckee Library, and for being the site of a particularly harsh winter for the ill-fated Donner Party.

Buzzy also spent much of her childhood in Montana, a state best known for being the home of acclaimed author and radio star Jon A. Jackson (Buzzy's dad), the historic Art Deco Washoe Theater in the town of Anaconda, the best-named high school in America, and the incomparable Chico Hot Springs.

Not content to divide her time between merely two of the loveliest places on Earth, Buzzy went on to live in Perth, Australia, Los Angeles, Barcelona, New York City, Cape Town, and the San Francisco Bay Area, where she earned a Ph.D. in History at UC Berkeley. She now lives in beautiful Boulder, Colorado, about a day's drive away from Carhenge, an amazing place that is really going to mess with future archaeologists.


You are invited to sign up for Buzzy's fortnightly newsletter, Continuous Small Treats. She promises not to send you a bunch of junk, just the newsletter and the odd notice about things in this world that are wonderful. You can check it out here.

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Buzzy's newest available sbook is The Inspirational Atheist: Wise Words on the Wonder and Meaning of Life (Penguin Random House). It's a collection of wisdom and quotations about all the reasons to embrace and appreciate life that have nothing to do with superstition or religious faith, a sort of Chicken Soup for the Soulless. 

She is currently writing a historical novel based on a true story of World War II Netherlands. If you'd like to stay updated on its progress, sign up for the Continuous Small Treats newsletter (above). 

Buzzy is a member of the National Book Critics Circle and writes for the Boston Globe Sunday Books section as well as for BookForum and the Los Angeles Review of Books and other outlets? 


Shaking the Family Tree: Blue Bloods, Black Sheep and Other Obsessions of an Accidental Genealogistis the story of how Buzzy came to research her own family tree as well as a step-by-step guide to genealogical research.

A Bad Woman Feeling Good: Blues and the Women Who Sing Them, tells the story of America's great women blues singers, from Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith to Billie Holiday and Lucinda Williams, women whose guts and glorious voices redefined what it meant to be a woman.


When feeling low on mojo, Buzzy finds it helpful to remember the words of astronomer Brian Greene and the author James Thurber:

Things are the way they are in our universe because if they weren't, we would not be here to notice. - B.G.

It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all the answers.  - J.T. 

Buzzy recently attained a moment of satori at a Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds concert. You might try that, too.


AskBuzzy at gmail dot com