A deeply personal novel about race, pop culture, and escaping the roles we are forced to play—by the author of the infinitely inventive How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe.
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.
Praise for Interior Chinatown
“An acid indictment of Asian stereotypes and a parable for outcasts feeling invisible in this fast-moving world.”—Kirkus Reviews
“I’m a big fan of Charles Yu’s writing because of his wit and inventiveness. These talents are front and center in the brilliant and hilarious Interior Chinatown, which satirizes the racist imagination and brings us deep into the humanity of those who suffer from—and struggle against—dehumanization.”—Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer
“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