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
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
Jackson's musings skillfully illuminate the bloodlines, both inherited and earned, that pulse through the body of America's gang-graffitied carceral state
'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'
"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."
'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'