The Residue Years

The Residue Years

A Novel

Book - 2013
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Mitchell S. Jackson grew up black in a neglected neighborhood 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, Mitchell writes what it was to come of age in that time and place, with a break-out 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 program, trying to stay clean and get her kids back. Champ is trying to do right by his mom 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.
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury, 2013
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9781620400289
1620400286
9781620400296
1620400294
Branch Call Number: FICTION JACKSON 2013
Characteristics: 346 pages ; 22 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

2015 Everybody Reads

Working to reclaim her children after rehab, Rhonda avoids the toxic people of her past, focuses on her faith, and worries about her eldest son, who involves himself in drug dealing in a misguided attempt to secure funds for a family home.

This year’s Everybody Reads pick really is a novel every Portlander
needs to read. It’s a modern day Grapes of Wrath in its unflinching look at society. Jackson’s mix of street and literary language is electrifying.

Author writes what it was like to grow up black in the 1990s in white Portland, OR

Jackson grew up black in a neglected neighborhood in America's whitest city, Portland, OR. in the '90s. In his autobiographical novel, he writes what it was to come of age in that time and place. The Residue Years switches between the perspectives of a young man, Champ, who dreams of reclaiming... Read More »


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lukasevansherman
Sep 24, 2016

"Most of us, if we're lucky, we see a few seconds of the high life. And the rest are the residue years." Striking, moving autobiographical first novel by former Portlander Mitchell S. Jackson. Set in 1990s Portland during the crack epidemic, "The Residue Years" puts a black protagonist into one of the whitest, most liberal (and most clueless) cities in America. Jackson's venacular style and switch between perspecitves can be jarring, but this is a novel for this moment: alive, individual, and
authentic.

LMcShaneCLE Sep 09, 2015

Meet the author-- Sat, September 19th 2:00 p.m. Main Library, Louis Stokes Wing Auditorium. http://cpl.org/writers-readers/#MitchellSJackson

f
franque
Jul 11, 2015

I liked this book. It took a while to get into because the rhetoric is a combination of Ebonics/street talk mixed with collegiate vocabulary test words that at first didn't mix in my linear brain. But after a while the stories washed over me & I found myself rooting for the main characters, Grace and Champ, to get it together & find a way to live their lives with some serenity. This book at heart really is about people struggling to save themselves from themselves or from the demons that lurk with them. If your from PDX like I am, you'll enjoy the names of familiar streets and locations. This is a sad book for sure, but that mustard seed is still planted in its pages.

d
DebH2U
Mar 23, 2015

Took a while to get into the story because the language and lingo was often unfamiliar, but once I got the hang of it, I really loved this story. Very poignant and real to life. A tale of family and hardship, love and determination. Well-written. Heart-wrenching.

s
sunshine1954
Jan 17, 2015

5 stars, excellent writing, griping story of survival while dealing with drug dealing and addiction.

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