The Writer’s Center presents a FREE virtual chat about the craft of fiction! We’re joined by novelist Bryan Washington to talk about his celebrated first novel, Memorial. Bryan will be in conversation with Zach Powers, novelist and Director of Communications at The Writer’s Center.
RSVP below, and you’ll receive an email on or before January 21 with instructions for joining the chat via our video conferencing platform, Zoom. FREE and open to the public, all times Eastern. Limited space.
We encourage you to order a copy of the book from your local, independent bookseller or online from Bookshop.org.
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. He received the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award for his first book, Lot, which was also a finalist for the NBCC’s John Leonard Prize, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, and the Aspen Words Literary Prize. He has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, BuzzFeed, Bon Appétit, and GQ, among other publications. He lives in Houston.
About the Book
Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, Vanity Fair, O, the Oprah Magazine, Esquire, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Good Housekeeping, Refinery29, Real Simple, Kirkus Reviews, Electric Literature, and Lit Hub.
“A masterpiece.” —NPR
“No other novel this year captures so gracefully the full palette of America.” —The Washington Post
“Wryly funny, gently devastating.” —Entertainment Weekly
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.