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Interior Chinatown
$22.00

Interior Chinatown

By Charles You
288 pages
Paperback
November 2020

 

2020 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER

"One of the funniest books of the year. . . . A delicious, ambitious Hollywood satire."The Washington Post

From the infinitely inventive author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, a deeply personal novel about race, pop culture, immigration, assimilation, and escaping the roles we are forced to play.


Willis Wu doesn’t perceive himself as the protagonist 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 always he is 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. Or is it?

After stumbling into the spotlight, Willis finds himself launched into a wider world than he’s ever known, discovering not only the secret history of Chinatown, but the buried legacy of his own family. Infinitely inventive and deeply personal, exploring the themes of pop culture, assimilation, and immigration—Interior Chinatown is Charles Yu’s most moving, daring, and masterful novel yet.

"Fresh and beautiful. . . . Interior Chinatown represents yet another stellar destination in the journey of a sui generis author of seemingly limitless skill and ambition.” The New York Times Book Review

“Satire at its best, a shattering and darkly comic send-up of racial stereotyping in Hollywood . . . presented, perfectly, in the sharply hewed format of a screenplay. . . . Peeling back caricatures to paint vivid individual portraits, Yu eviscerates generalizations with the devastatingly specific.” —Vanity Fair

Bold, even groundbreaking. . . . Interior Chinatown solders together mordant wit and melancholic whimsy to produce a moving exploration of race and assimilation.” —San Francisco Chronicle

Interior Chinatown . . . recalls the humorous and heartfelt short stories of George Saunders, the metafictional high jinks of Mark Leyner, and films like The Truman Show.” —The New York Times

An inventive satire about racial stereotyping.” —Maureen Corrigan, NPR

“Meticulously crafted. . . . Yu tells us about ourselves with his haunting depictions of the immigrant experience, familial relationships, and the abiding desire to break from the pressures of conformity and live an authentic life.” —Los Angeles Review of Books
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