Lot

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 May 2019

Member Reviews

This book will stay with me for a while. As a queer white girl who lived in Texas for more than a decade, the stories contained in Lot were at once familiar and unfamiliar. I knew the places being discussed but not in these contexts. I knew people like many of the characters, but not as intimately as they are presented here. While most of the characters live below the poverty line, I would not call this poverty porn because Washington deftly calls out gentrification and bucks stereotypes. Washington presents a strong narrative voice in this master work.
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I'm not sure why I didn't connect more with Lot. It's up my normal alley - interlinked short stories about people living in the margins in Houston. Washington's writing is great, and the stories themselves were compelling. I've seen other reviewers compare this to Junot Diaz's Drown, and that comparison makes sense to me. I think my issue was the format - if this were a novel I think it would have worked better for me. In these stories the narrators weren't always the same but they often sounded the same. I needed either stronger differentiation, or would have preferred to follow the recurring narrator throughout all the stories. I liked his story a lot - his family restaurant is struggling, he is trying to figure out his sexuality, and his family can't seem to stay together. Overall despite some unevenness I'd say if you enjoy short stories this one is worth checking out.
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