Houston Matters

The ebb and flow of enduring friendships is the main course in Bryan Washington’s ‘Family Meal’

The Houston writer of ‘Memorial’ and ‘Lot’ talks about his latest novel, most of which takes place in Houston.

Houston writer Bryan Washington
Dailey Hubbard
Houston writer Bryan Washington is the author of the novels “Family Meal” and “Memorial” and has a collection of short stories called “Lot.”

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Family Meal BookSome friendships are more like family and can even become surrogates for that when family is out of the picture for one reason or another.

The ebb and flow of one such friendship is at the core of the latest novel from Houston writer Bryan Washington. It's called Family Meal, and, like Memorial, his previous novel, and Lot, his collection of short stories, most of the story takes place in Houston. And, as was the case in his last book, food and meals are a frequent vehicle for conveying some of the nuances of complicated relationships.

In the audio above, Washington tells Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty about the themes in the story and about the power of a family meal – whether it's a literal family partaking or one constructed by choice and circumstance.

Washington also reflects on the beauty of those certain down-and-dirty relationships in our lives, friends who’ve been with us through the highs and lows.

"Friendship in and of itself is a form of work," Washington said. "You have to work to be present for your friends, to show up for your friends...and it can be a lovely thing to have a relationship with someone that you've known for some time who has seen many different versions of you and been present for each of them and has stuck around."