×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Residue Years
     

The Residue Years

4.5 2
by Mitchell S. Jackson
 

See All Formats & Editions

Winner Writing 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

Overview

Winner Writing 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 autobiographical novel, Mitchell writes what it was to come of age in that time and place, with a break-out 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.

Honest in its portrayal, with cadences that dazzle, The Residue Years signals the arrival of a writer set to awe.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Roxane Gay
…[a] powerful debut…The beating heart of this novel is a journey toward a home that is always just beyond grasp no matter how fiercely Grace and Champ reach. Their story is as moving as it is unbearable. Jackson's prose has a spoken-word cadence, the language flying off the page with percussive energy…There is warmth and wit, and a hard-won wisdom about the intersection of race and poverty in America.
From the Publisher

“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

Kirkus Reviews
The time Jackson chronicles here is indeed residue, particularly the little that remains of hope in the unforgiving life of a decaying urban neighborhood in Portland, Ore. Champ and his mother, Grace, know drugs. Champ eventually deals, and his mother uses and, now coming off a jail term, desperately wants to stay clean. Grace winds up getting a menial job, though she has to lie about her felony conviction to get it, and she looks for strength and guidance from her church. Her faith is tested, however, when Big Ken, the father of Champ's younger brothers KJ and Canaan, brings Grace to court because he wants sole custody. Grace starts using again and, by the end of the novel, even has to resort to selling herself to feed her habit. Champ is bright and wants to continue his college education, but he finds life on the streets seductive and compelling--and it's about all he knows. He has a girlfriend, Kim, whom he's made pregnant, though he has little compunction about being unfaithful to her. To make ends meet, he starts dealing again, constantly trying to outsmart the cops who are understandably skeptical about his roaming the streets at night. Eventually, he and Grace are both caught with some marijuana when Champ is driving her away from a sexual assignation. Throughout the bleak narrative, Champ and his mother alternate chapters as Jackson moves us from the harsh and bitter voice of Champ to the milder but no less desperate voice of his mother. A bleak and depressing--yet searingly forthright and honest--confrontation with the mean streets of urban decay.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781620400302
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
08/20/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
526,863
File size:
987 KB

Videos

Meet 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.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

The Residue Years 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
WilliamBT More than 1 year ago
Mitchell S. Jackson does an excellent job on his book. This is a book of all tells and should be read by anyone thinking of becoming an author. Mitchell does an outstanding job on this piece of work. A job well done. William B. Turner Author
DTH212 More than 1 year ago
a must read!!