In conversation with Kiley Reid, author of Such a Fun Age
Recording available through November 9
Rising literary star Bryan Washington is a National Book Award 5 Under 35 honoree and winner of numerous awards, including the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction, and the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. His first book, the story collection Lot, landed on numerous best-of-the-year lists, including that of former President Obama, Time, NPR, Vanity Fair, and many more. A native of Houston, he currently serves as the Scholar-in-Residence for Racial Justice at Rice University.
With humor and compassion, Washington’s much anticipated novel Memorial tells the story of Mike, a Japanese American chef at a Mexican restaurant, and Benson, a Black day care teacher, who have enjoyed a few good years as a couple, but are beginning to wonder why they're still together. 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 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. In a starred review, Kirkus praised it as “a subtle and moving exploration of love, family, race, and the long, frustrating search for home.”
“This book, in what feels like a new vision for the 21st-century novel, made me happy." —Ocean Vuong, author of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous
Kiley Reid is a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was the recipient of the Truman Capote Fellowship. Her New York Times-bestselling debut novel, Such a Fun Age, is currently in development by Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad Productions and Sight Unseen Pictures. The novel was longlisted for The 2020 Booker Prize and a finalist for the New York Public Library’s 2020 Young Lions Fiction Award, the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work by a Debut Author, and the Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award.
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