Lot (Hardback)Bryan Washington (author)
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'A superb book' Max Porter, author of Lanny
Stories of a young man finding his place among family and community in Houston, from a powerful, emerging American voice.
In the city of Houston - a sprawling, diverse microcosm of America - the son of a black mother and a Latino father is coming of age. He's working at his family's restaurant, weathering his brother's blows, resenting his older sister's absence. And discovering he likes boys.
This boy and his family experience the tumult of living in the margins, the heartbreak of ghosts, and the braveries of the human heart. The stories of others living and thriving and dying across Houston's myriad neighbourhoods are woven throughout to reveal a young woman's affair detonating across an apartment complex, a rag-tag baseball team, a group of young hustlers, the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, a local drug dealer who takes a Guatemalan teen under his wing, and a reluctant chupacabra.
Bryan Washington's brilliant, viscerally drawn world leaps off the page with energy, wit, and the infinite longing of people searching for home. With soulful insight into what makes a community, a family, and a life, Lot is about love in all its unsparing and unsteady forms.
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 390 g
Dimensions: 223 x 148 x 24 mm
It's hard to overstate what an accomplishment Lot is. Washington [is] a keen observer of human nature; his characters are flawed but not irredeemable, and he writes about them with a compassion that's never condescending... A stunning work of art from a young writer with immense talent and a rare sense of compassion, and one of the strongest literary debuts in several years. * NPR *
There's an acute empathy in each of the stories, tenderness alongside brutality, generosity and humor in tandem with loss and grief. When the narrative calls for it, Washington's prose sings with vibrancy. His sensibilities are spot on. * The Rumpus *
Lot is a phenomenal debut, the kind of stories I am always longing to read. I love the urgency, honesty, and vitality of Washington's voice. I love these characters for where they're from, and where they're going, what they know, and what they reveal about trouble and love. * Justin Torres, author of 'We the Animals' *
Lot spills over with life - funny, tender, and profane.... Washington takes characters often consigned to the literary margins and drags them to the center - not as exotic objects of curiosity but as whole human beings, messy and defiant and drawn in full, vibrant color. * Entertainment Weekly *
What a book. This is a generous, powerful, deeply engrossing collection of stories that will crack open your heart then put it back together again. Lot is indelible, and Bryan Washington is an important new talent. * R.O. Kwon, author of 'The Incendiaries' *
Bryan Washington's writing is refreshing - a brilliant display of raw talent with gut punching stories that deliver with a lasting force. This is the literature that I've been waiting for. * Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of 'Here Comes the Sun' *
Where has he been my whole life?! This collection of stories - all of which take place in Houston - is absolutely gut-wrenching and powerful, and will immediately transport you out of whatever bubble you're living in. * Cosmopolitan *
Washington's subtle, dynamic and flexible stories play out across the city's sprawling and multiethnic neighborhoods... Washington cracks open a vibrant, polyglot side of Houston about which few outsiders are aware. * New York Times *
Lot is the confession of a neighborhood, channeled through a literary prodigy. Bryan Washington doesn't render a world, he actually captures one, grabs it out of reality and holds it up for you to see it sparkle. Unflinching, romantic while refusing to romanticize; this is the debut of a prodigious talent. * Mat Johnson, author of 'Loving Day' and 'Pym' *
Bryan Washington's voice has risen blazingly from Houston and now commands us to pay attention. Lot is as raw, soulful and moving as a story collection can get. It's my favorite fiction debut of the year. * Jami Attenberg, author of 'The Middlesteins' *
Bryan Washington gets Houston down on the page in a way I haven't seen before; the city, in his hands, is revealed in all its strange and righteous glory, a fresh sense of youth that's a pleasure to read. Bryan is a thrilling new voice in American fiction and one to watch. * Amelia Gray, author of 'Isadora' *
In his raw, empathic and wise debut collection, Bryan Washington's gaze works like a surveillance drone dispatched to a frenetic microcosm of America, a hovering intelligence that can take in the whole of a Houston neighborhood but can also descend with great precision upon the perfectly chosen detail. It's that astonishing versatility of his voice - at once achingly intimate and brilliantly panoramic - that makes LOT a vital new entry in the Texas literary canon and also makes Washington one of the most thrilling and promising writers to come along in years. * Stefan Merrill Block, author of 'The Story of Forgetting' *
Lot will affect you the way that cherished and, sometimes, painful memories do, with a quality like haunting, a sense that the encounter you've had is undeniably real and will stay with you for a very long time. What a thrill to inhabit-to live in, to navigate-the stories and people that make up Bryan Washington's powerful debut. * Jamel Brinkley, author of 'A Lucky Man' *
For every thrown fist and quickly whipped comeback, there is a quiet moment cleaning dishes, sitting in the Whataburger parking lot, or sneaking out on a lover in the night. Just as every city is created by its inhabitants, Lot belongs foremost to its characters, who ask to be remembered, even long after their pages have turned. * Paris Review *
This eagerly awaited short-story collection, excerpted in The New Yorker to much fanfare, depicts its author's hometown of Houston with empathy, tragedy, and exceptional specificity. * Entertainment Weekly *
Washington's debut reads like a love letter to Houston. * New York Times *
Bryan Washington makes his already much-lauded debut with Lot, a collection of extraordinary short stories set in and across the city of Houston that thrum with vitality and authenticity and are peopled with characters yearning for connection. * Southern Living *
[F]unny, sad, wise & very alive in the best way. * Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Sisterland (Twitter) *
Stellar... Washington is exact and empathetic, and the character that emerges is refreshingly unapologetic about his sexuality, even as it creates rifts in his family.... Washington is a dynamic writer with a sharp eye for character, voice, and setting. This is a remarkable collection from a writer to watch. * Publishers Weekly, Starred Review *