The eagerly awaited memoir from Mitchell S. Jackson, winner of the Ernest Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence and Finalist of PEN/Hemingway Award.
'This is a mesmerising book, full of story, truth, pain, lyricism, humour and astonishment: the stuff of a difficult life, fully lived, and masterfully transformed into art' SALMAN RUSHDIE, author of The Satanic Verses
'Jackson's mesmerizing voice and style draws you into the survival calculations for millions of American kids and families, revealing a need-to-know reality for all of us' PIPER KERMAN, Author of Orange is the New Black
An electrifying, dazzlingly written reckoning and an essential addition to the conversation about race and class, Survival Math takes its name from the calculations that 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 story of Jackson, his family and his community.
Mitchell S. Jackson presents a microcosm of struggle and survival in contemporary urban America - an exploration of the forces that shaped his life, his city, and the lives of so many black men like him. As Jackson charts his own path from drug dealer to published novelist, he gives us a heartbreaking, fascinating, lovingly rendered view of the injustices and victories, large and small, that defined his youth.
'I had the feeling while reading Survival Math that I'd never read anything quite like it before. It's intimate and wise, poignant and compassionate, redemptive and raw. You have to read this beautiful book' CHERYL STRAYED, author of Wild
'Jackson's musings skillfully illuminate the bloodlines, both inherited and earned, that pulse through the body of America's gang-graffitied carceral state' TYEHIMBA JESS, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Olio
Survival Math is the best memoir I've read in ages. It's intimate and wise; poignant and compassionate; redemptive and raw. You have to read this beautiful book