RaveSan Francisco ChronicleIt is important that Particulate Matter is about a queer marriage, not because of its politics, which are not discussed, but because it just is. It exists in a tender and desperate way, both within and because of another (politicized) reality of present-day America: environmental damage and toxicity ... Particulate Matter is a tiny, powerful flame of a book ... Lemus’ writing lands like sparks and ash, fragmented and tinged with grief ... Some pages contain only a single word, including a series of Spanish words around nosiness, messiness, scandal ... These grains of thought, bits of heart, land all around the reader like embers, bringing them into the broken circle of narrative ... There is love in these fragments, too ... Lemus captures the wisps of longing that pull people toward each other, toward an idea of home. Meanwhile, the context for this humanity is always the earth on which we live ... Particulate Matter is a small book that accomplishes in remarkably few words a deeply felt narrative — that is, an exploration of the simultaneity of delight, yearning, grief and confusion of being in love with a person and a place. Of being alive at all.
RaveThe Seattle Times[Bryan Washington] returns to gift readers with a love story so multifaceted and emotionally nuanced as to feel transformative ... Memorial strikes an extraordinary balance between plot and character development that results in pitch-perfect pacing. Washington’s skill with dialogue and humor carries the narrative surprisingly far, in addition to some stunning imagery and plotting. The balance extends to the amount of context Washington includes for each character’s life. And the settings, the cities of Houston and Osaka, breathe on their own; they are places Washington clearly knows well ... Memorial is a melodic sojourn and an earnest expression of humanity. As the world continues to struggle against isolation and we find ways to hold onto our own hearts in the face of COVID-19 and vast injustice, Memorial feels like even more of a balm.