Mitchell S. Jackson, author of 2013’s widely acclaimed The Residue, joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to talk about his forthcoming book Survival Math: Notes on an American Family. An eclectic text — part reportage, part memoir, with cento poems, an epistolary opening, and powerful narrative passages throughout — Survival Math seamlessly testifies to a life and a consciousness born from difficult environments, devastating experiences, and an insatiable appetite for understanding and insight. Mitchell talks about what inspired him to write in such a challenging form, how the book’s stories capture the complex ways in which adult mentors and friends become “family,” and the relationship of African-American history to the production of spectacular African-American art and literature.

Also, Wayetu Moore returns to recommend The Lazarus Effect, a thriller by Liberian author H. J. Golakai.