Survival Math

Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family

Mitchell S. Jackson

Mitchell S. Jackson, author of the 2013 novel The Residue Years, grew up in a poor, black community in Portland, Ore., a notoriously white city. His discursive nonfiction debut is filled with found poems, footnotes, minor histories of major subjects, “victim statements” from women he’s treated poorly in the past, “survivor files” from his male family members. Through these, readers access the heart and mind of a man who has lived in the midst of gentrification and drug dealing. (In one unforgettable scene, he arrives to perform a sale only to find his mother is his customer.) Jackson’s is a particularly provocative depiction of urgent problems still unsolved.

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