Reviews

ResidueYears

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Reviews

“PowerfuL…Jackson’s prose has a spoken-word cadence, the language flying off the page with percussive energy…there is a warmth and a hard-won wisdom about the intersection of race and poverty in America.”
New York Times

“a fresh new voice in fiction”
O, the Oprah magazine

“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

“In this raw heartwreck of a novel, every bit of personal wisdom is hard-won. Here is Grace, mother of Champ: ‘Some people are latecomers to themselves, but who we are will soon enough surround us.’ It’s a searing claim and prophecy about lives severely tested. The author is entirely persuasive, such that Grace and her sons, given vivid voice, are one of the fictional families I have cared about most.”
—Amy Hempel, author of The Collected Stories

“Mitchell Jackson writes brilliant sentences, so full of the energy and beauty and tragedy of life. The Residue Years is an amazing first novel that also introduces an important new voice in literary fiction.”
—Michael Kimball, author of Big Ray

“I know these characters well: Champ with his swagger and invincibility, doing all he can to protect his fiercely beating heart. Grace, held together with polish and a prayer, trying to make a way when there isn’t one. Both of them longing, for a better life, a clear path out of their predicaments. I know the language they speak: voices redolent of struggle and the South displaced to our country’s far northwestern corner: Portland, Oregon. A wrenchingly beautiful debut by 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 

“There will be temptation to put Mitchell Jackson’s formidable debut novel in a convenient box but a true reading defies segregation. The Residue Years speaks in melodies about a grim world you think you know yet likely never inhabited. See the face of systemic racism, gentrification, failed hoop dreams, and a misguided drug war that makes criminals of victims. Feel the breaking heart. And also be lifted up; this fantastic novel speaks ultimately of love.”
—Robb Todd, author of Steal Me For Your Stories