'Powerful . . . full of impossible hope . . . There is warmth and wit and a hard-won wisdom' Roxane Gay, New York Times Book Review
'This novel is written with a breathtaking, exhilarating assurance and wit. Terrific' The Times
'A wrenchingly beautiful debut by a writer to be reckoned with' Jesmyn Ward
Mitchell S. Jackson grew up black in a neglected neighbourhood 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, Jackson writes what it was like to come of age in that time and place, with a breakout 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 programme, trying to stay clean and get her kids back. Champ is trying to do right by his mum 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.
Winner Whiting Writers' Award
Winner Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence
Finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction
A fresh new voice in fiction
I know these characters well. I know the language they speak: voices redolent of struggle and the South displaced to our country's far northwestern corner. A wrenchingly beautiful debut
Jackson's dedication to the shadows and unhappiness of his characters shines through - Publishers Weekly
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
Beautiful sentences that mix urban slang with pitch-perfect lyricism, resulting in a new way of expressing American English - Paris Review
A raw heartwreck of a novel . . . one of the fictional families I have cared about most