Memorial (Hardback)Bryan Washington (author)
Family tragedy forces a young queer couple to reassess their relationship in this tender, compassionate and wryly funny novel from the award-winning author of Lot.
Benson and Mike are two young guys who have 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 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, while 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...
Funny and profound, Memorial is about family in all its strange forms, becoming who you're supposed to be and the outer limits of love.
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 429 g
Dimensions: 216 x 135 x 22 mm
'Memorial casts a fresh take on the American family that becomes truer because of its disparate origins, the queerness of its genesis, and the buoyed wonder it finds in surviving grief and loss towards the rare and forgiving ground of difficult, hard-won love.' - Ocean Vuong, author of On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
'Stunning. Everything happening in Memorial is so intimate, sensual, and wise. I love this book.' - Tommy Orange, author of There There
'Brilliantly details the smallest moments that mean the absolute most, the heartbreakingly human limitations of how we love one another' - Kiley Reid, author of Such a Fun Age
'A true page-turner. I was entranced.' - Jacqueline Woodson, author of Another Brooklyn
'Made me think about the nature of love, and family, and anger, and grief, and love again.' - Jasmine Guillory, author of The Proposal
'A tour de force, truly unlike anything I've read before. Bryan Washington's take on love, family, and responsibility is as complicated and true as life itself. I can't stop thinking about it.' - Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto
'Bryan Washington is an expert in illuminating the way we love. It is a beautiful heartbreak. ' - Mira Jacob, author of Good Talk
'It is about everything that matters in life.' - Katie Kitamura, author of A Separation
'Wryly funny, gently devastating' - Entertainment Weekly
'A beautiful, unusual examination of the difference between love and care, and what happens when they merge' - Washington Post
'This book is so poignant and beautiful, asking questions about what it means to live a life and what it means to love' - LitHub
'Wonderfully irreverent and heart-meltingly tender' - Oprah Magazine
'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
'A fresh, vibrant love story that interweaves race, queerness, nationality, family, and intimacy with narrative ease.' - Vogue
'Bryan Washington writes some of contemporary fiction's most tender stories... Queer love, family dynamics, Houston settings, and cooking... the young writer has brilliantly united them all in his new novel' - New York Observer
'Big-hearted and moving' - Harper's Bazaar
'Bryan Washington writes quiet. His characters methodically chop cabbage, or slide silently from room to room. Then, bam. A quick, elliptical conversation will smack you sideways with its heft and resonance.' - Vulture
'This intimate story is about the families we are born into and the families we choose for ourselves... a quiet, sensual exploration of how we decide who we stick around for.' - Mashable
'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.' - The Millions
'This sensitive novel illustrates the deeply individual ways we search for a sense of home.' - RealSimple
'At once a love story, a tale of self-actualization, and an ode to family in every sense of the word.' - Popsugar
'Washington creates two men so real it feels like even though the book ended, they will keep on living and figuring it out and making mistakes and falling down and getting back up again.' - Alma
'With wit and humor, Washington tackles race, class, identity and queerness... In a story about first loves and family, both men will change as they discover their own truths.' - Parade
'At once fresh and new and daring, while also feeling wholly familiar' - The Advocate
'A love story so multifaceted and emotionally nuanced as to feel transformative' - Seattle Times
'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
'A beautiful, unusual examination of the difference between love and care, and what happens when they merge.' - The Washington Post
'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
'Among the novel's many strengths are its fluent conjuring of the textures of everyday life, much of it in dialogue; its charged evocations of preparing and eating food; and its repeated glimpses of the strangeness of one culture - its habits, standards, and expectations - to another.' - Alan Hollinghurst, New York Review of Books
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ReviewsView all Sign In To Write A Review
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book - the blunt writing style may not be for everyone but it is for me! The lack of punctuation was a bit challenging at first but is easy to slip into, and I think it really... More
Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for review.
A quietly emotional story about points of view and the power of what's not said rather than what is.
“Moving and engrossing”
Memorial is a complex and intricate novel about identity, family and reflections on love. Benson and Mike are in a relationship but they have reached a crossroads. Their feelings are complex, and their relationship... More
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