The following event description was originally published on the Gramercy Books website.
Critically acclaimed writer Bryan Washington will join Gramercy Book Club participants after the discussion of his latest novel, Memorial, 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. It was name the #1 INDIE NEXT pick for November. Noted author and Ohio State University English professor Nick White will moderate the group discussion and interview with Washington.
Registration for this LIVE! book club discussion is on Eventbrite, where you will receive login information and full instructions. A general admission ticket to access the event is $5. A ticket that includes a copy of Memorial waives the fee and is $29. Please note that registration closes at 5 pm on the day of the program.
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.
Wrote The Millions: “Not only an exploration of a kaleidoscopically diverse America. . . but a moving portrait of two young men who are figuring out exactly who they are in this world. Anyone who enjoyed Washington’s dreamlike yet textured meditations on life in Houston in Lot will be enchanted with Memorial.”
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.
Nick White is the author of the story collection, Sweet & Low, and the novel, How to Survive a Summer. A native of Mississippi, Nick’s short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in a variety of publications, including The Kenyon Review, Guernica, The Hopkins Review, Indiana Review, The Literary Review, and Lit Hub. Nick is an Assistant Professor of English at The Ohio State University’s MFA Program in Creative Writing.
The Creative Writing Program at Ohio State University is a Community Partner for this book club program.