Comprised of interwoven narratives, Music Minus One begins in 1950s New Jersey, with Jewish-owned shops along a city avenue, the tensions of the Cold War, and Jane Shore's childhood home above her parents' clothing store. The title of this collection refers to a record album that provides orchestral accompaniment for playing a solo instrument at home. Jane Shore's father played the saxophone with the Big Bands of the thirties and forties and figures prominently in this book. With the more intimate music of family life, the author transfigures the emotional dimensions of her childhood into the experience of her own motherhood, life in Vermont, and a memorable elegy for her mother, Essie.
Jane Shore is the author of two previous volumes of poetry: The Minute Hand, which won the Lamont Poetry Selection of the American Academy of Poets, and Eye Level, winner of the Juniper Prize. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and NEA grants among others. She lives in Washington, D.C., and East Calais, Vermont, with her husband, the novelist Howard Norman, and their daughter, Emma.