Mitchell S. Jackson The Residue Years

ISBN 13: 9781620400296

The Residue Years

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9781620400296: The Residue Years
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Winner Whiting Writers' Award
Winner Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence
Finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction
Finalist for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize
Finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award

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.

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About the Author:

Mitchell S. Jackson was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. He holds a masters in writing from Portland State University and an MFA from New York University. Jackson has received a Whiting Writers' Award and The Ernest Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence. The Residue Years was also a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, The Flaherty-Dunan First Novel Prize, and the Hurston Wright Legacy Award. Jackson has been awarded fellowships from TED, the Lannan Foundation, and the Center For Fiction. He teaches writing at NYU and Columbia.

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Jackson’s poetic prose is a joy to read even as the relationship between Grace Thomas and her oldest son, Champ, falls to pieces, along with their lives, in their Portland, Oregon, ghetto homes. Grace, just released from a drug rehab program, is placed in a dismal, furnished apartment and instructed to find work. Not an easy task for a middle-aged African American woman with little education, a spotty employment record, and a felony conviction. Her crime? Collecting state child support in two states. It was the only way she could feed herself and her three sons, even with a pittance-paying job. Champ, aware of his mother’s sacrifices and, sadly, her addictions, wants only the best for her. But his resources and options are also limited. Jackson carries the main theme—options—gracefully throughout the Thomases’ story, as Grace and Champ each tell their tale of facing ever-changing realities. The ways mother and son grapple with social judgment and limited choices are provocative and timely in view of the current American cultural focus on personal responsibility. --Donna Chavez

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9781620400289: The Residue Years

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ISBN 10:  1620400286 ISBN 13:  9781620400289
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA, 2013
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9781408857267: [The Residue Years] (By: Mitchell S. Jackson) [published: July, 2014]

Blooms..., 2014
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9781632862198: The Residue Years: A Novel

Blooms..., 2013
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