Cover image for Chasing down the dawn
Chasing down the dawn
Jewel, 1974-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : HarperEntertainment, 2000.
Physical Description:
142 pages ; 25 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML420.J38 A3 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Stockholm, The Grand HotelOutside the canals are weeping, rising silentlybeyond their cement banks. Soundlessly, theyspill onto the sidewalk, like a frayed edge. Theground will freeze soon. The night is cold. I canfeel it reach my skin through the glass of mywindow. My pane. My lamp. My towels.Funny how every hotel room becomes my own.My home. If only for one night.

Welcome to a world set to the ever-changing rhythms of an artist's life.

Since childhood, Jewel has turned to her own short stories, vivid narratives, and starkly honest writings to revisit the past, chronicle the many characters she's encountered, and trace the intricate, unpredictable patterns of her days. In Chasing Down the Dawn, recording artist, actress, and bestselling author Jewel opens her intimate journals to create a vivid montage of the people, places, relationships, and passages that colored the life she came from and marked the last magical, turbulent, and ultimately transformational year.

Drawn from her remarkable chronicle of life on the road during the Spirit World Tour, this unforgettable collection of freeze-frames captures unusual images from Jewel's childhood in Alaska, her beginnings as a struggling artist, and her challenges as a daughter, sister, and woman. Jewel paints an unblinkingly honest picture of the exceptional journey that carried her to the world's stage.

Here, as if pulled from a stack of snapshots, are Jewel's moment-by-moment observations on life as she now lives it: the pleasure of sold-out performances and the pressures of her industry .. the sweetness of love and bitterness of loss ... friendship, freedom, and the small miracles we ourselves create. And herein a book that allows the reader a rare glimpse of life's turning points as if viewed from over the author's shoulder -- are Jewel's deeply personal insights on the events that shaped her understanding: her parents' divorce, her experience of poverty, the healing of her difficult relationship with her father, and the development of her unique talent.

With the publication of her bestselling collection of poetry, A Night Without Armor, Jewel established herself as a light on the literary horizon. With acutely observed, elegantly written depictions of the musicians, lovers, bikers, strangers, celebrities, and characters that inhabit the singer/songwriter's world, illustrated with Jewel's own drawings and never-before-seen photographs from her family archives, Chasing Down the Dawn is more than a collection of vignettes, observations, and stories. It is a finely wrought mosaic in prose and poetry, set to the rhythms of life.

Author Notes

Jewel Kilcher was born in Utah in 1974, but was raised in Alaska, on the 800-acre family homestead that her grandfather, an immigrant from Switzerland, had originally settled. At the age of six, she began touring with her singer/songwriter parents, initially performing a yodeling routine. When her parents divorced, she continued to perform with her father, and eventually received a vocal scholarship to Interlochen Fine Arts Academy in Michigan, attending for her junior and senior years of high school.

Kilcher's mother introduced her to poetry at an early age, and she began writing poems when she was a child. She used her poetry as a way to express her feelings, particularly after her parents' divorce. Kilcher started setting her poems to music while at Interlochen, and upon graduating from high school, she moved to Santa Barbara, where her mother was living. She soon began performing her songs in coffee houses and other small venues around California. This practice eventually led to a recording contract with Atlantic Records and the release of her highly successful debut album, Pieces of You.

Jewel Kilcher's first book, a volume of her poetry called A Night Without Armor, was published in 1998. In 2000 she published a nonfiction collection of her essays and anecdotes about her time on the road called Chasing Down the Dawn.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Jewel's second foray into publishing is not another book of poetry but a memoirlike collection of diary passages and musings. Most people familiar with the singer-songwriter's story know that Jewel was raised in Alaska, attended Interlochen, an art school in Michigan, and lived out of her van while trying to make it big. In addition to those familiar stories, Jewel shares details of her life on her family's homestead and her struggles to make ends meet, which included playing guitar and singing on the street for money. Interspersed with these tales of the past are Jewel's adventures on the road. She meets all sorts of people, from those who call her a sellout to those who stare at her in awe. Jewel herself often seems to be in awe of her fame; the juxtaposition of her hard-knocks former life with her princesslike present existence is constantly emphasized. Of course, it's not a simple matter of one being bad, the other good; the opening poem reveals that Jewel sometimes still longs for her life in Alaska. "Am I wasting myself on something false?" she muses on a tour bus. It's clearly a tough question for her. Although many readers may find this all a little self-serving, Jewel's fans (the presumed audience) will find this memoir earnest and heartfelt. --Kristine Huntley

Publisher's Weekly Review

This highly personal collection of essays, anecdotes and spontaneous statements accompanied by sweet, primitive drawings deals with Jewel's atypical childhood in Alaska, her struggling-musician days and her eventually successful music career, characterized by constant touring and putting up with the consequences of fame. Similar to Jewel's bestselling book of poems (A Night Without Armor), this compendium of prose exhibits a clear, direct, purposefully poignant and, at times, indulgent writing style. Jewel recognizes artistic quality when she sees it and often brings up names and their associations (touring with Bob Dylan, thinking about Italo Calvino's "If" before taking the stage), perhaps in an attempt to connect with them, and to show her admiration. Certainly, Jewel has talent and integrity, and, when she abandons a self-conscious posture, she can offer insights that are fresh and luminescent ("For me, the real beauty of singing is learning to play the instrument I've been given"). Unfortunately, her descriptive writing suffers too frequently from a surfeit of sentiment ("Do I like the dream I've dreamed or have I begun to feel like a prisoner of the dream?"). Jewel's name will carry this book a long wayÄas will the catchy cover, an alluring photo of the poet/ writer on horseback. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

You've heard Jewel's music (her debut disc, Pieces of You, sold ten million copies). You've read her first novel, A Night Without Armor (it went into 15 printings). Now it's time to catch up on her poems, essays, and stories. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.