2020 Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction
by Charles Yu
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 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. At least that is 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 masterful novel yet.
The National Book Award is awarded by the National Book Foundation. Categories include Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Young People's Literature, Translated Literature, and the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.