Memorial, by Bryan Washington

I’ve been wanting to read Memorial all year, partly given it’s broad acclaim and partly out of a desire to support my fellow UNO alum, Bryan Washington. So naturally I started this one as soon as I got it (as a holiday gift from yet another UNO alum!). And, to summarize, I really enjoyed this book.

Firstly, I thought the plot was so convincing and intriguing. Brief synopsis: a couple is forced to reconsider their close relationships and life goals when one of them unexpectedly travels abroad and leaves his mother and partner to live together. This feels so probable and yet, so strange. I found myself eager to know what would happen to each of the three main characters.

Additionally, I was really interested in the intertextual nature of this novel – it relies on traditional prose, but also photographs and text messages to tell a broader narrative.

The only thing I struggled with a bit while reading Memorial was it’s occasional use of crude language and description when I felt that something more subtle would do. For me, it was a little as though crass language was leveraged for shock value at times.

Otherwise, I really enjoyed the writing and voice of this book. It was easy to read, modern, and convincing. Give it a shot!

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