'An unforgettable mix of sharp humor, wide interrogation, and indelible tragedy. 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'
An extensive and illuminating look at the city of [Jackson's] childhood, exploring issues like sex, violence, addiction, community, and the toll this takes on a person's life
Vivid and unflinching ... Mitchell's memoir in essays chronicles the struggles of friends and family with drugs, racism, violence, and hopelessness and puts a face on the cyclical nature of poverty
"A dynamic, impressive debut memoir from the Whiting Award-winning author of The Residue Years (2013)... A potent book that revels in the author's truthful experiences while maintaining the jagged-grain, keeping-it-a-100, natural storytelling that made The Residue Years a modern must-read."
Jackson's musings skillfully illuminate the bloodlines, both inherited and earned, that pulse through the body of America's gang-graffitied carceral state
'Survival Math is the best memoir I've read in ages. With honesty, insight, and a tremendous amount of heart, Mitchell S. Jackson takes us deep into the stories that made, ruined, and saved him. I had the feeling while reading it 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'
Survival Math should be praised for many reasons--its literary integrity, its cinematic pace, its creativity and candor. But what I find most striking about this work, what I think distinguishes it, is its heart