A free conversation and book talk with rising star and recent National Book Award winner, Charles Yu, will be online at Chatham Square Library this Wednesday, Dec. 16th at 6pm. Yu will be discussing the award-winning novel, Interior Chinatown. The novel is on many Best-of 2020 lists.
The story explores Asian-American stereotypes with both humor and poignancy. It reads like an historical love letter to generations of Asian-American men and women, facing the challenges they’ve encountered while struggling with self-identity and to define themselves as Americans. But it is written with a poetic and fresh style, that allows the reader to jump in and out of the many worlds, and many roles (literally) of “Generic Asian Man” and “Generic Asian Woman,” as they work their way up in the world of TV and film day players, fighting against challenges of overt racism and derogatory stereotypes.
Yu went to law school and wrote at night while practicing law during the day, but he has written four novels and many short form pieces since then, and now works full-time as a TV writer, including on HBO’s “Westworld.”
The New York Times described Interior Chinatown in a profile piece last January:
It’s the story of Willis Wu, a young man who’s struggling to figure out what his role is in life, literally. Wu resides in a version of Chinatown that’s both a real place and the backdrop to an ongoing police procedural TV show called “Black and White.” Its inhabitants live their lives as well as the parts assigned to them: Disgraced Son, Delivery Guy, Young Dragon Lady, Silent Henchman or the most coveted role of all, Kung Fu Guy. “Interior Chinatown” — the title puns on the screenplay convention for describing locations — recalls the humorous and heartfelt short stories of George Saunders, the metafictional high jinks of Mark Leyner and films like “The Truman Show.”
Yu was recognized by the National Book Foundation as someone to watch in their 5 Under 35 category in 2006.
Register online here.