Everybody Reads 2015 featuring "The Residue Years" by Mitchell S. Jackson now underway at Multnomah County Library

Thousands of books available at start of community reading project that brings Portland native to Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall March 10

PORTLAND, Ore. — Jan. 5, 2015 — Everybody Reads 2015, Multnomah County Library’s 13th annual community reading project has begun with the distribution of thousands of copies of The Residue Years by Mitchell S. Jackson.

The books and e-books are now available at all Multnomah County libraries and downloadable from the library catalog, thanks to the generous support of The Library Foundation. Readers are encouraged to share the books with friends, coworkers and neighbors. The Residue Years will also be available in audio format from the Oregon Talking Book and Braille Library.

“Of all the honors I’ve received for The Residue Years, this is the most important to me,” said Jackson. “I always intended this book to be for Portland and to represent the city and the people I grew up with. The issues in the book are very present today: What are the effects of gentrification in Portland? What constitutes a family? A home? How do people of color institute change? I hope Everybody Reads helps keep these conversations going.”

Throughout the month of January, readers and students across Multnomah County will engage with Jackson’s semi-autobiographical account of a family’s struggles in a neglected black neighborhood of a predominantly white 1990s Portland. In February, dozens of Everybody Reads discussions, lectures and related programs will take place at libraries and elsewhere in the community.

Thanks to The Library Foundation, more than 3,200 copies of The Residue Years are available to borrow from libraries across Multnomah County. The library has delivered copies of the book to 21 schools and organizations serving youth. For those who choose tablets or e-readers as their preferred format, the library also offers hundreds of e-book copies.

The author will present a talk on March 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. This event is presented by Literary Arts. Ticket information is available from Literary Arts.

Jackson received a Master of Arts in writing from Portland State University and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from New York University. His debut novel, The Residue Years, was praised by publications including The New York Times, The Paris Review, The Times of London, and The Sydney Morning Herald. The novel was honored with the Ernest Gaines Award for Literary Excellence and was a finalist for the Center for Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the PEN/ Hemingway Award For First Fiction, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Jackson has received fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, The Center for Fiction and the Urban Artist Initiative. Jackson teaches writing at New York University and Columbia University.

Everybody Reads, a community reading project of Multnomah County Library, is made possible in part by The Library Foundation with author appearance made possible by Literary Arts. Programming support also made possible in part by Pamplin Media Group, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Portland State University and Portland Community College.