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Memorial  By  cover art

Memorial

By: Bryan Washington
Narrated by: Bryan Washington, Akie Kotabe
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Publisher's summary

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

A Good Morning America Book Club Pick

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 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 good-bye.

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.

“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)

©2020 Bryan Washington (P)2020 Penguin Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

Critic reviews

“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)

“A fresh, vibrant love story that interweaves race, queerness, nationality, family, and intimacy with narrative ease.” (Vogue)

“A beautiful, unusual examination of the difference between love and care, and what happens when they merge.” (The Washington Post)

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