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We are thrilled to host Charles Yu, the author of the 2020 National Book Award winner, and our 2022 Read Across Lawrence selection Interior Chinatown. Yu will be in conversation with Derek Kwan, Executive Director of the Lied Center of Kansas. They will discuss screenwriting, representation, and identity in Yu’s playful but heartfelt latest work, Interior Chinatown. Yu’s most moving, daring, and masterful novel yet is a send-up of Hollywood tropes and Asian stereotypes—a deeply personal novel about race, pop culture, immigration, assimilation, and escaping the roles we are forced to play.
Charles YU has received the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 Award, been nominated for two Writers Guild of America awards for his work on the HBO series Westworld, and has also written for shows on FX, AMC, Facebook Watch, and Adult Swim. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared in a number of publications including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Wired, Time and Ploughshares.
Derek Kwan began his tenure as the Executive Director of the Lied Center of Kansas in January 2014. Derek came to the Lied Center from Jazz at Lincoln Center, where he served as Vice President of Concerts & Touring and managed all activities related to performances under the Jazz at Lincoln Center brand. Derek is a voting member of the Recording Academy and he has production credits on over 60 albums, including the Grammy-winning Bebo De Cuba and NY Times Album of the Year Lagrimas Negras. In Kansas, he is proud to serve as a board member for KU Innovation Park, Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, LMH Health Foundation, Lawrence Children’s Choir and advisory board member for Kansas Public Radio.