The Residue Years
By Mitchell S. Jackson
(Bloomsbury USA, Paperback, 9781620400296, 352pp.)
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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Finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut FictionFinalist for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel PrizeNominee for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Honor Book for Fiction for the Black Caucus of the ALA Mitchell S. Jackson grew up black in a neglected neighborhood in America’s whitest city, Portland, Oregon. In the ’90s, those streets and beyond had fallen under the shadow of crack cocaine and its familiar mayhem. In his commanding debut autobiographical novel, Mitchell writes what it was to come of age in that time and place, with a breakout voice that’s nothing less than extraordinary.
The Residue Years switches between the perspectives of a young man, Champ, and his mother, Grace. Grace is just out of a drug treatment program, trying to stay clean and get her kids back. Champ is trying to do right by his mom and younger brothers, and dreams of reclaiming the only home he and his family have ever shared. But selling crack is the only sure way he knows to achieve his dream. In this world of few options and little opportunity, where love is your strength and your weakness, this family fights for family and against what tears one apart.
Mitchell S. Jackson was born and raised in Portland. He holds a masters of writing from Portland State University and an M.F.A. from New York University. He teaches writing at NYU, Medgar Evers College, and John Jay College, and also works as a journalist, writing about rap for Vibe, the Source, and others. He is a winner of the Hurston Wright Award for College Writers and a fellowship at the Center for Fiction. He is also the author of the ebook Oversoul. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
"A fresh new voice in fiction." —O, The Oprah Magazine"Jackson’s poetic prose is a joy to read . . . The ways mother and son grapple with social judgment and limited choices are provocative and timely." —Booklist
"I was touched by characters whose lives were often as real for me as my memories of growing up. The language invented to tell their stories engages, challenges, clarifies the American language, claiming it, enlarging it." —John Edgar Wideman, author of Fanon, Philadelphia Fire, and Brothers and Keepers
"A writer to be reckoned with; The Residue Years marks the beginning of a most promising career." —Jesmyn Ward, author of Salvage the Bones and Men We Reaped