- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0593087275
- ISBN-10 : 0593087275
- Dimensions : 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
- Language: : English
"This book, in what feels like a new vision for the 21st century novel, made me happy.” —Ocean Vuong, author of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous
A funny and profound story about family in all its strange forms, joyful and hard-won vulnerability, becoming who you're supposed to be, and the limits of love.
Benson and Mike are two young guys who live together in Houston. Mike is a Japanese American chef at a Mexican restaurant and Benson's a Black day care teacher, and they've been together for a few years—good years—but now they're not sure why they're still a couple. There's the sex, sure, and the meals Mike cooks for Benson, and, well, they love each other.
But when Mike finds out his estranged father is dying in Osaka just as his acerbic Japanese mother, Mitsuko, arrives in Texas for a visit, Mike picks up and flies across the world to say goodbye. In Japan he undergoes an extraordinary transformation, discovering the truth about his family and his past. Back home, Mitsuko and Benson are stuck living together as unconventional roommates, an absurd domestic situation that ends up meaning more to each of them than they ever could have predicted. Without Mike's immediate pull, Benson begins to push outwards, realizing he might just know what he wants out of life and have the goods to get it.
Both men will change in ways that will either make them stronger together, or fracture everything they've ever known. And just maybe they'll all be okay in the end.
Praise for Bryan Washington
National Book Award 5 Under 35
Winner of the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence
Winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize
LOT was one of Barack Obama’s “Favorite Books of the Year”
Praise for Memorial
“Wryly funny, gently devastating … Washington’s hand is effortless—smooth dialogue, a love for good food, and his vibrant, sprawling, gradually gentrifying hometown—in inviting you into a nuanced love story that sticks to you like the Texas heat.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Memorial is a wonderful unconventional rom-com [and]. . . a radiant exploration of love’s permutations.” –O, The Oprah Magazine
“A fresh, vibrant love story that interweaves race, queerness, nationality, family, and intimacy with narrative ease.” —Vogue
“Implicit in a book about changing relationships and titled “Memorial” is the question of what is being preserved. The book preserves Houston and Osaka. It preserves the feeling of being young and lost. It preserves the food that gives us comfort and nourishment and purpose.” —The New York Times
“Profoundly sensitive. . . . [and] unspool[s] as spontaneously and clearly as late-night conversation. . . . Memorial is a testament to the permanence of filial connections, a clear-eyed acknowledgment that our relatives don’t always behave nicely, but they’re with us for life.” —The Washington Post
“Washington deftly records the way the forces of loyalty pull the heartstrings in different directions. . . . Memorial leaves us with the sense that our true selves, like our true names, aren’t necessarily bestowed at birth. They are chosen, too.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Extraordinary. . . . Washington writes with ease, like a juggler who is adding in new objects all the time, except the book ends with everything aloft instead of in hand. . . . It can be difficult to share your life with someone; Washington somehow explains this anew. Memorial, on the other hand, is easy to share.” —The Paris Review
“Bryan Washington’s writing is a treasure. . . . brilliant, funny, true.” —Goop
“A very different kind of love story. . . . Washington's deeply touching (and deeply funny) look at love, sex, family, grief, and the ways in which we take care of each other is a revelation, a reminder of how powerful a novel can be.” —Refinery29
“Dazzling . . . With crackling dialogue and gimlet-eyed humor, Washington paints a vivid, poignant portrait of how love, romantic and familial, is weathered and ultimately deepened by time.” —Esquire
“Big-hearted and moving.” —Harper's Bazaar
About the Author
Bryan Washington is a National Book Award 5 Under 35 honoree, and winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. His first book, the story collection Lot, was a finalist for the NBCC’s John Leonard Prize, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, the Aspen Words Literary Prize, and the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. Lot was a New York Times Notable Book, one of Dwight Garner’s top ten books of the year, and on best-of-the-year lists from Time, NPR, Vanity Fair, BuzzFeed, and many more. He has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, BuzzFeed, Vulture, The Paris Review, McSweeney’s Quarterly, Tin House, One Story, Bon Appétit, GQ, The Awl, and Catapult. He lives in Houston.