Mitchell S. Jackson, TED Fellow and Whiting Award winner, grew up in Portland, Oregon, during the crack epidemic. A bright scholarship student, he had to pause his college career briefly to serve time in prison for selling drugs, before going on to receive a master's degree and become a professor at New York University. Jackson's debut novel, The Residue Years won the Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence, and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Mitchell S. Jackson's other honours include fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), the BreadLoaf Conference, and the Center for Fiction. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Salon, and Tin House, among many others. He is a Clinical Associate Professor of Writing at New York University and lives in New York.