A book of interconnected stories set amid Houston’s urban sprawl, Lot, explores the pulsating world of that city’s poorer communities, focusing in on a family as it is broken apart by life’s casual brutality and by the way things go—until everyone and everything is gone. Bryan Washington’s powerful debut is an unflinching coming-of-age story about a young gay man of color, told in a lyrical prose that is as tough and sparkly as the broken-bottle-littered pavement that he rises above in his search for home and connection.

Lot, by Bryan Washington. Published by Riverhead Books. The editor is Laura Peciasepe. Lot is a finalist for the Publishing Triangle’s Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction; the winner will be announced on April 30.