Join author Bryan Washington and ARTS ATL's Gail O'Neill for a discussion of Washington’s 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. Charis is proud to be the bookseller for this event with the Atlanta History Center.
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.
This virtual event is free and open to the public. Register at the Atlanta History Center here.
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.
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 Washington Post, TIME, O, the Oprah Magazine, Esquire, Harper's Bazaar, Good Housekeeping, and Real Simple
“A masterpiece.” —NPR
One of Barack Obama’s “Favorite Books of the Year”
"Phenomenal" --Justin Torres, author of We the Animals
"Brilliant" --Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of Here Comes the Sun
“A profound exploration of the true meaning of borders.” —The New York Times Book Review