Cornelius Dieckmann

Houston, We are Stranded

Lot: Stories


Atlantic Books 223pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

There’s no lone star in Bryan Washington’s Lot, just a cast of characters as drab as the Houston neighbourhoods they inhabit. ‘There’s the world you live in,’ says the narrator of the title story, ‘and then there are the constellations around it, and you’ll never know you’re missing them if you don’t even know to look up.’ Most of the characters in Washington’s debut don’t know each other, but together these ‘short stories’ (as the dust jacket calls them) form an illuminating city ‘novel’ (as per the copyright page). Although about half of the stories are told by a recurring narrator charting the decline of his family, Lot is primarily unified by place.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'I don’t think we’re here on Earth to be Happy. I think we’re here on Earth to help God. I am a messianic writer'.… ,
    • 'Darley’s book is not a mad dash through this most compelling and complex of English counties. Nor is it another ti… ,
    • 'Moser’s book offers such a gripping account of a profoundly damaged human being, trapped in a cycle of repetition,… ,
    • 'Ideas that I’d thought were set down in full continue to smoulder ... this book is only a snapshot of some larger… ,
    • 'Full of invention which, at its most pedestrian, is eminently Victorian, and at its most unrestrained wildly imagi… ,
    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,
    • RT : One of my favourite literary magazines is celebrating 40 years this year. Here is the September edition of… ,