Interior Chinatown

Interior Chinatown

Book - 2020
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WINNER OF THE 2020 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION

"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 comes 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 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.

"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
Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, [2020]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9780307907196
0307907198
Branch Call Number: YU C
Characteristics: 270 pages ; 22 cm

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From Library Staff

List - 20 from 2020
LPL_IanS Nov 30, 2020

Willis Wu is a struggling actor who dreams of making it big. His greatest aspiration is to become Kung Fu Guy, the peak of Asian male acting, or so he thinks. A unique novel—appropriately formatted as a screenplay—that’s fun, funny, and full of astute observations about Asian American immigrant e... Read More »


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esherbine
May 20, 2020

Excellent, innovative story that weirdly and engagingly blends hollywood tropes and fiction to create a moving tribute to the Asian American experience. It was very much worth the read.

debwalker Feb 07, 2020

Dreaming of becoming a Kung Fu star in a racist Hollywood....

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brangwinn
Jan 14, 2020

Although it took me a few chapters to understand the shift between second person narration and third person as well as understanding why most of the book was in the form of a movie script, once I understood, it was a very personal way to explore pop culture, racial stereotypes and trying to break free of the role each of us is supposed to play. In this story a young Chinese man strive to do more than work in a Chinese restaurant and play minor roles in TV shows and movies. This was a book that made me think. Its also a book worthy of a second reading to understand the multiple layers of the story being told.

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