Lot by Bryan Washington
I recently finished Lot by Bryan Washington. This collection of interconnected short stories follows the life of an unnamed narrator (until the end where it's revealed in a short memory of his first sexual affair with another boy) that grapples with sexuality, identity (being both Mexican and black),and living in a gritty Houston where gangs, drugs, and disappearing is the norm. It reminded me of Junot Diaz's This is How You Lose Her, only queer. In this collection, we also explore relationships - both familial and romantic and how the relationships we watch as younger people inform how we act in relationships as adults.
In the city of Houston – a sprawling, diverse microcosm of America – the son of a black mother and a Latino father is coming of age. He’s working at his family’s restaurant, weathering his brother’s blows, resenting his older sister’s absence. And discovering he likes boys.
Around him, others live and thrive and die in Houston’s myriad neighborhoods: a young woman whose affair detonates across an apartment complex, a ragtag baseball team, a group of young hustlers, hurricane survivors, a local drug dealer who takes a Guatemalan teen under his wing, a reluctant chupacabra.
Bryan Washington’s brilliant, viscerally drawn world vibrates with energy, wit, and the infinite longing of people searching for home. With soulful insight into what makes a community, a family, and a life, Lot explores trust and love in all its unsparing and unsteady forms. -Penguin Random House