The year just keeps getting bigger for Houston’s favorite literary newcomer, Bryan Washington. Why? Independent entertainment company A24 has officially secured the rights to adapt the Houston author’s new novel, Memorial, for TV, Deadline revealed earlier this week.
Add that to Washington’s receipt of the Dylan Thomas Prize this May, the O. Henry Award in January, and the 2019 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence (not to mention being named one of last year’s National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 honorees), and it feels safe to say that the author’s star just keeps rising.
A University of Houston alum and current writer- and scholar-in-residence at Rice University, Washington is known for putting the true essence of the Bayou City to paper in a way that not only captures the city’s full diversity, but also evocatively tugs on the heartstrings. Complete with rich characters, complex themes, and detailed world-building that draws on everything from real-life Houston landmarks to its deep sense of unity, his work is considered by many to be love letters to the city that raised him.
One of the most anticipated fall releases, Washington’s Memorial, follows Houston couple Benson, a Black daycare teacher, and his Japanese-American chef boyfriend, Mike, as they discover their true place in each other’s lives during a bout of family drama, involving a dying father and an unexpected motherly visit. A follow-up to his highly successful short story collection, Lot, which earned rave reviews and a place in President Barack Obama’s annual favorite books of the year list, the new book will be Washington’s first novel.
According to Deadline, Scott Rudin and Eli Bush will produce the book’s adaptation alongside A24, which has seen recent televised success from its HBO teen drama, Euphoria. Together, the group have produced such recent successes as the 2014 sci-fi thriller Ex Machina, Oscar-nominated Lady Bird, the Adam Sandler-fronted drama Uncut Gems.
Memorial will be available October 27. $27. Pre-order the book at penguinrandomhouse.com.