Houston author Bryan Washington (whose debut, Lot, was a finalist for last year’s Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction) has fashioned an intricate and heartfelt tale from the relationship between a Japanese American chef named Mike and Benson, a Black daycare teacher. Mike finds out his father is dying in Osaka just as his caustic, independent mother comes to America for a visit. Mike flies to Japan to mend fences with him, leaving Benson to carve out an understanding with his new, underwhelmed, and unimpressed roommate, Mitsuko. As Mike and Benson reach separate epiphanies on different continents, they wonder if they’ve changed too much to be able to fit back together again.
Memorial, by Bryan Washington. Published by Riverhead. The editor is Laura Perciasepe; the agent is Danielle Bukowski. Memorial is a finalist for the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBTQ Fiction, presented by the Ferro-Grumley Foundation in conjunction with the Publishing Triangle; the winner will be announced on May 12.