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Lot: Stories

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  6,782 ratings  ·  984 reviews
Stories of a young man finding his place among family and community in Houston, from a powerful, emerging American voice.

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 di
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published March 19th 2019 by Riverhead Books
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Harold Millican 1. It's an adult fiction text. However, it can be recommended to gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered teens (14 and up) because the principle narr…more1. It's an adult fiction text. However, it can be recommended to gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered teens (14 and up) because the principle narrator of the text explores sexuality, masculinity, and identity. The book definitely mentions latinx, African-American, and drug culture. If you're still unsure read it. If you're doing a book display it's definitely African-American literature. For those who need more clarity understanding the complexity of the narrative voices, I recommend they reserve the audiobook edition.

2. Librarians should possibly explore forming a discussion question list for specific elements based on what that intent of your YA book group might be. (less)

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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  6,782 ratings  ·  984 reviews

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Larry H
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
"It didn't take long to see that there's the world you live in, and then there are the constellations around it, and you'll never know you're missing them if you don't even know to look up."

Lot , Bryan Washington's new story collection, is raw, potent, and packs a powerful, emotional punch.

Taking place in Houston before and after Hurricane Harvey, many of the stories focus on one young man, the son of an erstwhile Latino father and a black mother, as he grows into adulthood, confronts the pre
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, recs
I read and reviewed this book for Lambda Literary, where my full review can be found.

Introspective and understated, Lot gives voice to the silenced pain of Houston’s Black and Latinx working class. The collection of thirteen linked short stories alternates between tracking an unnamed narrator’s coming of age and exploring the diverse experiences of the boy’s fellow Houstonians. In terse prose, author Bryan Washington fully renders the inner lives of gay men struggling to endure the hardships of
Richard Derus
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
2020 UPDATE Won a Lambda Literary Award in the Gay Fiction category. The Awards were announced on 31 May 2020.

Real Rating: 4.8* of five

The Publisher Says: Stories of a young man finding his place among family and community in Houston, from a powerful, emerging American voice.

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 old
Kudos to Bryan Washington for writing a powerful, gritty short story collection that centers Black and Latinx working class queer voices. The stories honor the impact of racism, gentrification, and poverty on the characters’ wellbeing, while still ensuring that their individual stories and connections with one another take center stage. I most appreciated how Washington honors the difficulty of existing within a system designed to keep you down, as well as how he portrays the nuanced emotions th ...more
Sep 18, 2020 added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I was super excited to read Lot and after walking circles around it in bookstores for several weeks and throwing it tentative looks I eventually bought a copy and sat down to read it. I knew it was a gay book by a Black, queer author and since I'm always trying to make my bookshelf gayer and more diverse this was right up my alley. Until it wasn't.

It's a short book with just 220 pages which hold a number of interconnected short stories that are all set in Houston, Texas. We always circle back to
Edward Lorn
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Bayou" and "Navigation" are high points in this fantastic collection. The only miss here is the longest selection, "Waugh", which I never connected with. "Elgin" was the best possible tale to end with. This is one of the best written debuts I've read. I'll be watching out for future releases by this amazing author.

You can find my video review here:
Book of the Month
Why I love it
by Mat Johnson

I’m the greediest kind of fiction reader, because I want it all. I want a book that grabs me in a headlock and won’t let me put it down without a fight. I want a book with characters and conflicts that pull me in. I want a book that haunts me long after I’ve read its final page. I want it to let me see the world in a fresh way that’s been there the whole time yet has eluded me so far. And I got all this, and more, from Bryan Washington’s Lot.

Lot is a linked collection
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
[3.4] These gritty, linked stories set in Houston are hard to read. I often felt like an outsider, looking in. My favorite stories are the those about the unnamed narrator and his family. There is a tenderness and a yearning underneath his tough edges. And finally, in the last story, my favorite, we hear his name spoken, with love.
Mar 21, 2019 rated it liked it
[3.5 stars]

A moving and unique collection of stories set in Houston, TX. I enjoyed that nearly half or more of the stories were told from the perspective of one character, while the others sprinkled throughout gave glimpses into the lives of various types of people around him in the city. At times I found myself a bit disconnected, and a few of the stories were not very memorable. But the ones that did hit me the right way really stand out. And as a debut this was pretty solid.
Joe Valdez
In the days before COVID-19, in a time when one could get a book signed and meet an author, I met Attica Locke at the L.A. Times Festival of Books. I enthused on how brilliantly she brought the history and geography of our hometown of Houston to the page and she recommended Lot by Bryan Washington. This reminded me of Susan Straight: dark people overcoming poverty with language which is at times intoxicating but characters I'm already forgetting and no story I can remember. I quit this at the 20 ...more
Traci at The Stacks
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Some great stories in this book. Half follow one family, the other half follow their neighborhood. Black and brown and queer and poor and great. Kind of dark kind of fun. Really well done and accessible. Great use of language and slang. So good.
Mar 14, 2019 rated it liked it
(I received this book for free via this site's giveaway program.)

I'm going to say something about this book that sounds like a compliment, but I don't mean it that way. So, if you're reading this review, you should feel free to interpret what I'm about to say however you like. If you think that it's a compliment, well, then maybe this is a book that you'd like. If you think that it's not a compliment, then maybe this is a book you should pass on.

With that said, here's my very brief take on "Lot"
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“You bring yourself wherever you go. You are the one thing you can never run out on”.
Have ever read a book that you finally get into and in the end, you don’t know how to review it?? Well that is me with the book LOT. It really gave me insight but also made think of how we receive others. Overall, I enjoyed the structure of the book. It focuses on a direct family but gives voices to their neighborhood as well. There is much power, strength, and survival in these short stories. Well worth the rea
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
**I received this book as part of a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway.**

I enjoyed the stories in this book. About half of them were connected, and it was very interestingly done. They're all about coming of age, and coming out, while being a POC. I would like to read more about all the characters. Especially Nic. So, if anyone knows the author, tell him we need a whole book about Nic and his goings on! ;)
John Hatley
Dec 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a collection of stories, episodes, chapters, whatever I call them doesn’t really fit, that once I had started I couldn’t put down. They are tragic, sad, happy at one and the same time. They take place in a world as foreign to me as the moon, but it is a world populated with human beings, people with feelings, people who can love and hate and laugh and hurt and cry. It’s an amazing book.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
My first read from the new Tournament of Books 2020 long list is a book recommended by a Houston-based previous podcast guest, Elizabeth. Each story in this book takes place in a different Houston neighborhood and includes all sorts of characters (and lots of drugs.) I was impressed by how quickly Bryan Washington can develop characters and give the reader deep insights into their lives.
Jenna Bookish
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
The tone was very rambling and conversational, and the stories just didn't hold my interest.

Parts of it felt like a poor imitation of Junot Díaz's work. Overall, a flop for me.
Claire Reads Books
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I am WALLOPED I loved this so much 😭
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am very much on the hunt for short stories by and about minority voices and this was perfect. I don’t know Houston but I feel like I do now. Inter-connected short stories make for a particularly satisfying collection. Every story here shines.
Darryl Suite
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
That review is coming. Just you wait.
Here it is:

Lot is a kaleidoscopic and dizzying work of art. It is very reminiscent of Junot Diaz’s writing. And for that reason, I almost had no choice but to love it. But I’m here to say that Washington is doing his own thing, and it’s magical.

Lot tackles themes of family, poverty, homosexuality, fatherhood, unrequited love, community, and Houston. O Houston, O Houston. Washington’s description of Houston is so sticky and all-consuming, I felt like I was ph
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous. Reminded me of Junot Díaz but without the straightguy bravado.
Matthew Quann
If there's one thing made clear by Bryan Washington's debut short story collection, Lot, it's that he's a big fan of Junot Diaz. Indeed, much of this collection seems inspired by Diaz's work: a recurrent narrator, bilingual dialogue, and a focus on persons of colour. Despite what, for me, seemed like pretty obvious inspiration, I was down to read similar stuff since I'm a pretty huge fan of Diaz. Unfortunately, Lot ended up being a fairly mixed bag for me.

The stories that revolve around our cent
Aja Gabel
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is as good as everyone says it is. Haunting and powerful.
Jul 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5, rounded down.

Standard disclaimer: I don't read a lot of short stories and it's NOT a format I generally enjoy; no matter how accomplished the writer, there always seems to be a disparity in quality in even the most terrific collection. And so it is with THIS group of 13 stories, the odd numbered ones of which are interlinked, and the other 6 stand-alones, although all of them take place in (and are named after sections of) Houston. [Side note: the Chamber of Commerce is never gonna give any
Conor Ahern
Like "There, There" but with Houston instead of Oakland, and queer Latinx and Black people instead of Native folk, "Lot" is beautifully written and extremely poignant. It tells variations on the tribulations of poverty and being non-white in modern America, with the added twist that the protagonist is always (or almost always) a queer man.

These stories were relentless--brutal, violent, unhappy. And I couldn't stop listening, as uncomfortable as they often were. I will be evangelizing for this o
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Most readers like to past up on short stories. Don't be that reader cause you are missing out on some gems. Lot is one of them. This is an amazing collection. Bryan Washington's writing is stellar and precise. Another big thing I loved about this collection is the construction of the novel. The narrative shifts from the family to the neighborhood. Sense of place is a very strong theme and I love the author plays on words (he drops the word lot a few times). Every story is important. Bryan Washin ...more
Hayley Stenger
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
I started off really enjoying and excited by this book. By the time I was finished, it felt like a book I had read before, one that I didn't particularly like. I felt the set-up had great potential, but didn't follow through. ...more
Mark Kwesi Appoh
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-read-2020
I loved this so much. Extremely good writing. Bryan Washington is the king of first sentences.
May 31, 2021 marked it as to-read
Shelves: usa
Yup, finally starting this!
chantel nouseforaname
Bomb. It was the bomb.

The way these stories intersect and play off each other, the fact that they're all segments of the same story just made it dope. To have young black and brown characters live that every day struggle together and exemplify real life; no matter where they're situated. I loved this. The longing, the searching and misplaced rage, anger, hurt. The joy in the small things, like a newborn baby. It was a great read.

Bryan Washington is a great writer. I was inspired to read this r
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Literary Fiction ...: Review of Lot 3 38 Jun 30, 2019 08:13AM  
Book of The Month: Lot 2 32 May 09, 2019 09:56AM  

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Bryan Washington, the acclaimed author of 2019’s short story collection Lot, has returned with his debut novel, Memorial. The story follows...
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“Your eyes will show you what they want to, or whatever they think you should see.” 4 likes
“She read beautifully, deeply. I don't know how else to describe it.
Eventually, I finally asked her what she got out of reading these books by old dead men, what the words on the page had to do with her. The kind of question an idiot asks. But she took it seriously, she pursed her lips.
It's just another way to talk to the dead, she said.
It's another way to make a way, she said.”
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