Charlie told Jacob, who heard it from Adriana. She took it from Rogelio, who’d been sort of fucking Juana, and the two of them copped it to Nikki down the way. … Basically we can’t keep a secret for anything. Rumors glide through the complex like vines. (12-14)

“In this enthralling collection of interconnected short stories, Washington vividly portrays the interior lives of his marginalised fellow citizens, often overlooked in literature save as characters sketched to elicit pity and despair. These are tough yet tender tales of uncertain existences, stalked by the certainty of future violence and the shadow of homelessness.” – The Guardian


Talking Points

If you’re not sure where to start a conversation in a breakout room during Book Club, find an example in the text related to one of these themes. Or, pick a passage that stood out to you and share it with the group.

  • Community, class, race and gentrification
  • Queer throughlines in the text
  • Stories as maps, maps as portraits: each short story is named for a neighborhood in Houston

Get Into It

Paris Review

Interview with Bryan Washington

“I wanted every narrative in Lot to have a queer character or queer component. Insofar as I’m interested in writing fiction, those are the stories I’m most excited to write.”


Review: Lot

New York and Los Angeles tend to get all the ink, but you could make an argument that Houston is the most uniquely American big city there is.

Young Lions Fiction Award Finalist Bryan Washington
Interview with Bryan Washington

From the Office of Global Inclusion @ NYU

Related media, events or reading materials from NYU’s Office of Global Inclusion, the official Book Club Co-Sponsor

Breathe: A Letter to My Sons by Imani Perry

Emotionally raw and deeply reflective, Imani Perry issues an unflinching challenge to society to see Black children as deserving of humanity. She admits fear and frustration for her African American sons in a society that is increasingly racist and at times seems irredeemable. However, as a mother, feminist, writer, and intellectual, Perry offers an unfettered expression of love—finding beauty and possibility in life—and she exhorts her children and their peers to find the courage to chart their own paths and find steady footing and inspiration in Black tradition.