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Oversoul: Stories and Essays [Kindle Edition]

Mitchell S. Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In this hybrid collection of short stories and essays, Mitchell S. Jackson reveals the gifted ear of a poet, a journalist’s unsentimental eye, and a willingness to indulge in candid introspect. From the title story “Oversoul” about the struggles of a recently released ex-con, to “Serial Killers: There are no alibis,” an essay that dissects a particular breed of womanizing male, Jackson’s prose examines the conflicts that arise in those that see their dreams beat back, realize the smallest of victories, and harbor a wavering faith in redemption. This collection introduces a remarkable new voice.

It’s f**king great.—Tim Small, Fiction Editor, Vice Magazine

It’s rare that you find someone who can write this well who authentically understands the life. Many have tried, but with Oversoul Mitch Jackson does a fantastic job of setting himself apart. It’s a book that must be read. —“Freeway” Ricky Ross

Mitchell Jackson enters the scene equipped both with James Baldwin’s keen eye for the human condition and with Jay Z’s swagger on the beat. Too often when we say there is a new voice on the horizon, it rings too familiar. This is a voice we’ve never heard before. Here we have a voice to capture the range of our rage and of our laughter, often in a single sentence: "The extent to which one finds oneself in accommodations such as these is equal to the extent to which one is unable to sever one’s self from the roar." Whether we inhabit Jackson’s nonfiction essays or the short story, they’re all true and “for the life of me—This story is more or less how it happened."
–A. Van Jordan, author of M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A

Some authors bring emotional heat. Some bring intellectual muscle. Mitchell Jackson brings both with Oversoul but with lyricism and fists that beat the pages back to pulp."
-Robb Todd, author of Steal Me for Your Stories

Jackson does not ask for sympathy, but simply shows his life with beautiful and stunning language.—Sarah Ermisch,

Product Details

  • File Size: 900 KB
  • Print Length: 92 pages
  • Publisher: The Collections House (June 14, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008BVY18C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #623,536 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your next favorite writer June 16, 2012
By Robb
Format:Kindle Edition
Some authors bring emotional heat. Some bring intellectual muscle. Mitch Jackson brings both with "Oversoul" but with lyricism and fists that beat the pages back to pulp.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oversoul: Stories and Essays June 20, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Using Oversoul as a scalpel, Mitchell Jackson carves a precise line, as well as any surgeon. In doing so, he splays open a space of humanity. A place one may visit, however, few have the courage to analyze, recall, and recount with such candor and freshness. His artistry is not simply found in form and function, but in the raw gamut of emotions extrapolated from page to page. While Mitchell conjures metaphoric references to himself in the essay, "Serial Killers: There Are No Alibis", one can be assured, his "modus operandi" continually consists of putting pen to paper.
Jill Jackson
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mitchell S. Jackson Delivers Brilliance!!! June 19, 2012
By LD Lowe
Format:Kindle Edition
I thoroughly enjoyed Matrimony: An Epic - a man's recollection of the start of his mother's unconventional marriage, which included many separations and ultimately divorce. If you're a woman you must read Serial Killers. When it comes to matters of the heart, we need to avoid the Serial Killers. I'm sure you will agree, but you'll have to read it for yourself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Percell_D October 15, 2013
By Dugg_P
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
One compelling story after another. A must read for anyone who enjoys witty, reflections of social issues. Loved every minute of it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must buy March 12, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It was a very creative work that captures the true essence of today's realities that many authors can't quite display in their writing styles or understanding of life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hip-hop prose September 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Son. Mitch Jackson, as Jay Electronica put it, "spits that heat that pass a polygraph." Well done, Champ, well done.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book is dangerous August 21, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
These stories are in possession of something concealed. Jackson's greatest trick was to make me believe in his narrators, believe that they were open and looking only for someone to understand. How willing I was to take in a world I knew nothing about! Not much sentimentality between their bad decisions and heartbreak, but enough to make you think you could play judge, that you were there for a reason. And isn't that the thing that makes art great, exposing you for your crazy?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Relative Greatness
A piece that many could relate to, almost like an album put together where the lyrics and the words just speak to you directly. Truly a must read!
Published on July 11, 2012 by kelz801
5.0 out of 5 stars accurate depiction and poignant reimagination of lives lived
Jackson's Oversoul is a collection of fiction, non-fiction, and prosaic pieces that speak to the very real lives of characters that exist just underneath the surface of everyday... Read more
Published on July 4, 2012 by NYC_READER_X
5.0 out of 5 stars clever dissertation, calamitous content
An exquisite voice. peculiar, valuable, hand picked words. powerful, disturbing, thought provoking prose that leaves you wanting more. Read more
Published on July 3, 2012 by janie e amoia
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh Portlandia, you know so little...
Brilliant tension, with eloquent, raw and well honed storytelling. I read it in one sitting, front to back, and was left changed. My heart and soul seeing, feeling life through M. Read more
Published on July 1, 2012 by A. Jacobs
5.0 out of 5 stars GO BUY IT!!
From the very first sentence this book pulls you into a world of beautiful struggles and triumphs. Mitchell Jackson created an epic adventure that will have you not wanting to put... Read more
Published on June 23, 2012 by Jasmine A.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
Mr. Jackson combines the streets with academics in Oversoul. His style of writing is one of unique technique and rhythm that intertwines slang with scholar thoughts and skilled... Read more
Published on June 22, 2012 by D. Mitchell
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More About the Author


Mitchell S. Jackson is a Portland, Oregon native who lives in Brooklyn, New York. He received an M.A. in writing from Portland State University and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from New York University. He has been the recipient of fellowships from Urban Artist Initiative and The Center For Fiction. A former winner of the Hurston Wright Foundation's award for college writers, he teaches writing at New York University. Jackson has published Oversoul an eBook collection of prose. His novel, The Residue Years, is forthcoming from Bloomsbury USA in the spring of 2013.


Here's a story that was so ubiquitous in urban cities the 1980's it was almost cliché: mother who struggles with drug addiction raises a boy who later becomes a drug dealer. Sometime down the line, the boy is caught with drugs and sent to prison. In the interim and years to follow, the mother fails at conquering her addiction, while the son journeys down the path that includes returns trips to prison and/or an addiction of his own, or worse.

But every so often, however, such a story eschews the usual script.

Mitchell S. Jackson was raised in Portland, Oregon in the 1980's and 1990s, during what has been called the height of America's war on drugs. By the mid eighties Jackson's mother was ensnared in a drug addiction, and by the early 1990's Jackson was a teenager "out there selling dope like a bunch of young dudes who didn't know better or who knew better and did worse." This enterprise went on until the mid 1990's when a college-enrolled Jackson was caught, convicted of drug distribution, and sentenced to prison. Upon his release, instead of letting incarceration upend his life as it did many of his peers, Jackson returned to college and earned a Bachelors and later a Masters degree. Then, with the desire to realize a burgeoning dream of becoming an author, Jackson moved to New York, earned his second Creative Writing Masters degree from New York University, and began working as a journalist and college professor.

Currently, Jackson serves on the faculty of NYU and is also the editor-at-large of SMOOTH magazine. He has earned fellowships from the Urban Artist Initiative and the Center For Fiction as well as awards from literary institutions like the Zora Neale Hurston / Richard Wright Foundation. Oversoul: Stories and Essays has been released by The Collections House. Jackson's novel, The Residue Years, will be release by Bloomsbury USA in the spring of 2013.

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