Transcript for How ‘GMA’ November Book Club pick ‘Memorial’ is winning readers’ hearts
We are back with our November book club pick, "Memorial," by rising star Bryan Washington. The novel making so many best books of 2020. Along with a few others, several of them, in fact, of our picks, ABC's juju Chang sat down with Bryan. Hey, juju. Reporter: Good morning, Cecilia. You know, his first book of short stories which he wrote when he was in his early 20s by the way was picked by president Obama in 2019 as one of his favorites, now this new novel follows up on that promise. It's kind of a quiet story that sort of sneaks up on you and then grabs you by the heart. At 27 Bryan Washington is once again taking the bookld by storm with his tender debut novel pulling back the curtain on lives divided by class, race and culture. "Memorial" dubbed a dramedy inthose us us T an interracial couple Ben and Mike and often feuding relationship with families. Yter on relationships in transition, right? The two gay lovers, a mother and a son relationship and father/son relationships. What made you focus your attention on relationships in What was really important for me was to write the sort of book that I wanted to read and the sort of book that featured the kinds of relationships that I had had. Reporter: The young lovers on the brink of a breakup when Mike takes off to Japan for care for his estranged father and his Japanese mother comes to live with Ben in Houston. As a middle-aged Asian woman I feel like I can ask you this question, but did it ever make you nervous to write from the perspective of a middle-aged Asian woman? I think one of the great joys of fiction is being able to embody someone that you very distinctly aren't. Reporter: And different cultures, Bryan weaves in his love for Asian tradition and cuisine. In many ways food is a character in your book. Having a story in which folks are able to find connection and to find connection outside of language felt really rare to me and also felt like something that food could accomplish. Reporter: No stranger to the kitchen whipping up this savory Japanese pancake grilled how you like it. You got some skills. I can see it already. Exploring life's passions from culinary delights to sexuality. All part of the narrative. Hollywood not shying away from this community. The novel set to become a series with accolades that would make any mentor proud. I've heard you speak lovingly about a college professor who really inspired you at the university of Houston. T Johnson was someone that was just so generous and generous with his time, generous with his thoughtfulness. As far as the stories I wanted to tell and the things that I wanted to do. Bryan, I want to show you a message from someone special. You always had immense talent and incredible intelligence. I'm incredibly proud, not just of you, but of the opportunity to work with you and see you grow over these years. Congratulations. You've earned this. Thanks, mat. You know, such a gift. You know, like a really -- yeah, what else can you say? Reporter: Now these characters struggle with everyday struggles with racism and poverty and totally dysfunctional families but that really what the book is about. At its core this book is love story and love can be messy, love is far from perfect and love is explicit at times in this book, I will warn you, but as a reader, you are constantly rooting for love to win. Cecilia. Ah, juju, thanks so much. I'm so excited to read this. We do get to take things home, right? Yes. "Memorial" by Bryan Washington is out now and read along on our Instagram at "Gma" It is time for the pet of
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