Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Survival Math by Mitchell Jackson


I am very much looking forward to getting a copy of this memoir that is more than a memoir. I enjoy looking at family dynamics and this one written by an African American man from a part of the country that I don't know much about sounds like it's just up my alley., 



An electrifying, dazzlingly written reckoning and an essential addition to the national conversation about race and class, Survival Math takes its name from the calculations award-winning author Mitchell S. Jackson made to survive the Portland, Oregon, of his youth. This dynamic book explores gangs and guns, near-death experiences, sex work, masculinity, composite fathers, the concept of “hustle,” and the destructive power of addiction—all framed within the experience of Jackson, his family, and his community. 

Lauded for its breathtaking pace, its tender portrayals, its stark candor, and its luminous style, Survival Math reveals on every page the searching intellect and originality of its author. The primary narrative, focused on understanding the antecedents of Jackson’s family’s experiences, is complemented by poems composed from historical American documents as well as survivor files, which feature photographs and riveting short narratives of several of Jackson’s male relatives. The sum of Survival Math’s parts is a highly original whole, one that reflects on the exigencies--over generations--that have shaped the lives of so many disenfranchised Americans. As essential as it is beautiful, as real as it is artful, Mitchell S. Jackson’s nonfiction debut is a singular achievement, not to be missed.

About the Author


Mitchell S. Jackson’s debut novel The Residue Years received wide critical praise. Jackson is the winner of a Whiting Award. His novel also won The Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence and was a finalist for The Center for Fiction Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the PEN / Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction, and the Hurston / Wright Legacy Award. Jackson’s honors include fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Ford Foundation, PEN America, TED, NYFA (New York Foundation for the Arts), and The Center for Fiction. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Paris Review, The Guardian, Tin House, and elsewhere. His nonfiction book Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family is forthcoming from Scribner. Jackson is a Clinical Associate Professor of writing in the Liberal Studies at New York University. 

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