Jacobson graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and achieved recognition in New York City whilst writing for the Village Voice in the 1970s, most particularly for a lurid account of life in the Chinatown Ghost Shadows gang.
His books include his debut novel and cult classic Gojiro (1992), a Godzilla story; the autobiographical Jacobson family travel saga co-authored with daughter Rae Jacobson 12,000 Miles in the Nick of Time – a Semi-Dysfunctional Family Circumnavigates the Globe; the novel Everyone and No One; a collection of previously published pieces Teenage Hipster in the Modern World..., which includes the "Ghost Shadows" Village Voice articles; The KGB Bar Nonfiction Reader; the critically acclaimed but largely ignored compendium American Monsters (2004) co-edited with Jacobson's close friend Jack Newfield; the newly reissued compilation American Gangster containing the New York magazine piece "The Return of Superfly", the basis for a 2007 film starring Denzel Washington.
Jacobson wrote the screenplay basis for Love Ranch (2010), a dramatization of the murder of prizefighter Oscar Bonavena at the Mustang Ranch in Nevada in May 1976. The troubled film was delayed by an early production company bankruptcy and was eventually produced during a writer's strike in 2009 which disengaged Jacobson from full control of subsequent script revisions. The film was directed by Taylor Hackford, starring Helen Mirren and Joe Pesci. Jacobson's non-fiction reflection on man's inhumanity to man The Lampshade: A Holocaust Detective Story from Buchenwald to New Orleans (2010), was based on the discovery of a lampshade made of human skin purported to be a Nazi souvenir uncovered in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Jacobson was awarded the 2001 Humanitas Prize for his screenplay work on The Believer. He is currently a contributing Editor at New York Magazine and a frequent contributor to The Village Voice, National Geographic, Natural History Magazine, Men's Journal as well as other publications.
- Mark Jacobson homepage
- New York Magazine: Archive Mark Jacobson
- Mark Jacobson at the Internet Movie Database
- Mark Jacobson's 'The Lampshade' flickers in a tale of grim origin.
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