Synopses & Reviews
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 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.
"Interior Chinatown is wrenching, hilarious, sharp, surreal, and above all, original. This is an extraordinary book by an immensely talented writer." Emily St. John Mandel, National Book Award finalist and author of The Glass Hotel
"In Interior Chinatown, Yu builds a world out of clichés and stereotypes, then finds a tiny hole in the back and slowly fills it with life and history and nuance and anguish and joy and desire and grief. There is no writer with a greater talent for taking the flattening indignities of life and exploding them into vibrant, poignant mythology."
Raphael Bob-Waksberg, creator of BoJack Horseman and author of Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory
"In spare but moving prose, [Yu] describes life among Asian Americans living as so-called foreigners [and] examines the history of bigotry against immigrants in the West for centuries. . . . An acid indictment of Asian stereotypes and a parable for outcasts feeling invisible in this fast-moving world." Kirkus Reviews
"Conflates history, sociology, and ethnography with the timeless evils of racism, sexism, and elitism in a multigenerational epic that's both rollicking entertainment and scathing commentary. . . . Ingeniously draws on real-life Hollywood. . . . [The book's] sobering reality will resonate with savvy readers." Booklist (Starred Review)
About the Author
CHARLES YU is the author of three books, including the novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, which was a New York Times Notable Book and named one of the best books of the year by Time magazine. He received the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 Award, and was nominated for two WGA awards for his work on the HBO series, Westworld. He has also written for shows on FX, AMC and HBO. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared in a number of publications including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Wired.
Powell's Books on PowellsBooks.Blog
Need some gift-giving inspiration? Take a peek at the books these local authors are giving this year...