Wisconsin Book Festival presents Mitchell Jackson for SURVIVAL MATH
Mitchell S. Jackson’s award-winning first book, The Residue Years, was celebrated as “a powerful debut that takes a raw, hard look at poverty” (Roxane Gay, New York Times Book Review), and the marker of “a fresh new voice in fiction” (O, The Oprah Magazine). With his new book, Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family, Jackson turns his distinctive and compelling voice to nonfiction, telling the story of his own family and his tumultuous youth in Portland, Oregon. Part self-reflection and part social critique, Survival Math illuminates the systemic forces of race and class that have shaped the lives of countless disenfranchised Americans, through the history of one family. In four parts, Jackson crafts expansive, multifaceted responses to four questions: Who are we? What have we learned? What have we endured? and How do we proceed? The day-to-day calculations of how to survive in a struggling community loom large over his answers, but so too do poetry, familial love, and a profound rethinking of masculinity and fatherhood. What emerges is a candid, lyrical, and thrillingly alive portrait of a family, a community, and a nation that still needs to reckon with its own history.