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Bryan Washington


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

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 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.


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 YorkerThe New York TimesThe New York Times MagazineBuzzFeedBon Appétit, and GQ, among other publications. He lives in Houston.


"[Washington's] ability with writing the sensual pleasures of making and eating food is a good way of understanding his ability as a novelist to write about the human mind. It's such a beautiful book. . . . a pure pleasure." --Rumaan Alam, The Maris Review

"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

"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

[H] Riverhead Books  /  October 27, 2020

1.2" H x 8.5" L x 6.2" W (1.1 lbs) 320 pages

[P]  Riverhead Books  / October 26, 2021 

1.1" H x 7.87" L x 5.12" W (0.65 lbs) 384 pages