Interior Chinatown

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9781787702578
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Winner of the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction - a deeply personal novel about race, pop culture, and escaping the roles we are forced to play-by the author of the infinitely inventive How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe.

Willis Wu doesn't perceive himself as a protagonist even in his own life: He's merely Generic Asian man. Sometimes he gets to be Background Oriental Making a Weird Face or even Disgraced Son, but he is always relegated to a prop. Yet every day he leaves his tiny room in a Chinatown SRO and enters the Golden Palace restaurant, where Black and White, a procedural cop show, is in perpetual production. He's a bit player here, too, but he dreams of being Kung Fu Guy - the most respected role that anyone who looks like him can attain. At least that's what he has been told, time and time again. Except by one person, his mother. Who says to him: Be more.

Playful but heartfelt, a send-up of Hollywood tropes and Asian stereotypes, Interior Chinatown is Charles Yu's most moving, daring, and masterly novel yet.

Author: Charles Yu
 
Paperback Published January 2021 288 pages

"[Interior Chinatown is] comedic. It's literary. It's weird and experimental . . . a kind of a George Saundersesque alternate reality. It's all of those things, but maybe mostly, it's allegory . . . The details meticulously crafted, render a universe that feels complete to the touch."--Pete Hsu, Los Angeles Review of Books

"[A] sharply observed, darkly humorous evocation of the Asian American experience that blurs the line between performative acts and literal small-screen performances."--Clark Collis, Entertainment Weekly

"Inspired . . . [an] inventive drama about an Asian actor who dreams of becoming a star. . . . In spare but moving prose, [Yu] describes life among Asian Americans living as so-called foreigners [and] examines the history of bigotry against immigrants in the West for centuries. . . . An acid indictment of Asian stereotypes and a parable for outcasts feeling invisible in this fast-moving world."--Kirkus Reviews

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