EXCLUSIVE: A24 won a coveted novel for its TV division as it has closed a deal for Memorial, the novel by Bryan Washington. Book will be published Oct 27 by the Penguin Random House imprint Riverhead Press and is one of the buzz titles of the fall. They will figure out exactly what form the novel will take, but Washington will adapt his work. He previously published the 2019 short story collection Lot, which was critically acclaimed.
Book is described by its publisher as a funny and profound story about family in all its strange forms. Benson and Mike are two young guys who live together in Houston. Mike is a Japanese American chef at a Mexican restaurant and Benson’s a Black day care teacher, and they’ve been together for a few years — good years — but now they’re not sure why they’re still a couple. There’s the sex, sure, and the meals Mike cooks for Benson, and, well, they love each other. But when Mike finds out his estranged father is dying in Osaka just as his acerbic Japanese mother, Mitsuko, arrives in Texas for a visit, Mike picks up and flies across the world to say goodbye. The trip provokes a transformation as he discovers the truth about his family and his past. Back home, Mitsuko and Benson are stuck living together as unconventional roommates, an absurd domestic situation that ends up meaning more to each of them than they ever could have predicted. Without Mike’s immediate pull, Benson begins to push outwards, realizing he might just know what he wants out of life and have the goods to get it.
Washington was named by the National Book Awards 5 Under 35 and won the Dylan Thomas Prize, New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, The Earnest J. Gaines Award for Literary Fiction, A Lambda Literary Awards and was a finalist for NBCC’s John Leonard Prize, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, and the Aspen Words Literary Prize.
A24 collaborations with Rudin and Bush include Uncut Gems, Ex Machina, Lady Bird, Eighth Grade, and First Cow. Upcoming titles include Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth and Stephen Karam’s adaptation of his Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony Award Winner The Humans.
A24 adds the plum title to its growing TV ambitions: the A24 drama for HBO, Euphoria, won a Best Actress Emmy for Zendaya, and the producer is also behind the Golden-Globe winning and Emmy-nominated Ramy, created by and starring Ramy Youssef.
Washington is repped by Danielle Bukowski of Sterling Lord Literistic, Gersh’s Alice Lawson and Alex Kohner from Morris Yorn Barnes.