N&G Book Club: In Conversation with Bryan Washington

Even though Lot by Bryan Washington was our second N&G Book Club pick, our conversation ended up being the first one of my book club.

I love a good story. I love to be transported away from where I am sitting and get lost in someone’s words. I geek out over authors. The ability to weave a narrative from ideas in their head and execute it in such a beautiful and creative way is something that blows my mind. Perhaps that’s why I felt so nervous leading up to my conversation with Bryan. I love, love, love his writing. To write such a stunning book of stories right out of the gate? Wow. He is one of the most talented and incredible writers I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. 

Since it was my first author Zoom, I reached out to my friends at the Texas Book Festival for guidance. I was nervous and wanted help moving the conversation along (and making sure that I didn’t lose my cool!). They introduced me to the wonderful, talented Maya Smart, who is a pro at moderating book club conversations. I was lucky to lean on her during our first author Q & A, and I hope that she will be back. I really loved her insight.

A few of the things that stood out to me about Bryan was how humble and kind he is. I also loved his work ethic: He writes starting at 5 a.m., which, to me, shows his passion and dedication to his craft. I also love the amount of research and care that he gives his work. He really honors it, and it shows in his writing. He’s incredibly thoughtful at every turn.

Watch our full conversation in the video below. And then go buy Lot, if you haven’t read it yet. 

Also, mark your calendars: Our Zoom conversation with Leigh Stein for her novel Self Care will be September 10th at 3:30 p.m. EST/12:30 p.m. PST. To participate, go to the Now & Gen Bookclub on Goodreads and RSVP for the event!

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  • Michaela Kilbride

    I loved watching this Zoom discussion. I agree I thought ‘Lot’ was incedibly insightful and thoughtful is so many ways. I found it was very creatively written. I thought it was a raw read, with coming of age, drugs and race, and being unfaithful. I am a Drama teacher in the UK and I will be exploring some of the stories from this book in my exam classes when we return in early September. I am really looking forward to experiemnt with specific themes in an Acting setting. Allowing my students to expose themselves to this book, to read it and examine the amazing Character work they can immerse themselves into will allow them the opportunity for so much growth. Thank you for organising the Zoom discussion for us too Gen. I will be tuning in on the 10th September to see what you have in store for us then. Thank you for all your efforts and everything you provide via Now & Gen, it truly reaches us ❤ Love to you and yours as always x

  • Kim Jacobs

    Loved watching this discussion, which I missed live. So insightful and thought provoking. Thank you.

    I’m looking forward to the Self Care discussion, which for me is at 5:30am! Getting up early is nicer than having to wake up at 2am like the last one! Not that I’m complaining at all, I thoroughly enjoy tuning in and am happy to do it at any time!!

    Thanks for all the recommendations for great reads!

  • Kim Jacobs

    Will there be a link to register for the Self Care discussion? I can’t find it in the Book Club events on Goodreads.

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