35 minutes | Nov 23rd 2020

A Writer Who Finds His Characters Through Their Food

Bryan Washington on how meals can fill silence… In Bryan Washington’s acclaimed debut novel, Memorial, Benson and Mike, a couple living in Houston, are going through a rocky patch in their relationship. Mike leaves to take care of his sick father in Osaka, just as his mother comes from Osaka to visit — which leaves her stuck with Benson instead. Each character’s personal progression unfolds alongside their changing approaches to food and cooking. But like a recipe that keeps evolving, the story resists simple answers. In this episode, Bryan explains why he finds food such a useful literary tool, and how its role in his characters’ lives mimics its role in his own. He also reads from two of his non-fiction essays from The New Yorker: “Bread Pudding and the Comforts of Queer Baking” and “An Adopted Obsession with Soondubu Jjigae, Korean Silken-Tofu Stew.”// Get 500+ more great Sporkful episodes from our catalog and lots of other Stitcher goodness when you sign up for Stitcher Premium: www.StitcherPremium.com/Sporkful (promo code: SPORKFUL). Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.
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