Posted 119 days ago
Calling us estranged gives our relationship more formality than I prefer.
Bryan Washington is a very, very good writer. His style is very direct, maybe a little too much in-your-face, but it's impossible to deny how well he conveys his own emotions and the difficulties his characters deal with. There are a couple themes that seem to crop up in his writing, mainly Japan and very honest relationships.
The New Yorker published another story of his, Hierlooms, just last August. He seems to be an author on the rise.
He definitely resonates with the younger generations, like my own. His prose is direct, his sentences are short and to-the-point, although sometimes overtly vulgar. His story reads well. It's fast and almost feels directed towards internet-based writing, which does do him any harm in this day and age.
The foster cat, replacing his failing relationship, his brother going to jail, and the older man he lost touch with in Japan, almost feels like a trope. It's almost too obvious to the point that I was thinking this is simply trying to be literary. However, Washington handled the relationship with his brother, and the emotions that went with them, really well. Without that character, or maybe him having gone through less serious, would have made the story feel empty. That was the way I felt for a large part of it until I saw what Washington was trying to do to piece together these disparate pieces.
Although he's just outside my style, I have really enjoyed reading the pieces he has published so far. I'm not sure I'd seek out his book, but his short stories are solid.