• Interior Chinatown

  • A Novel
  • By: Charles Yu
  • Narrated by: Joel de la Fuente
  • Length: 4 hrs and 20 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (1,527 ratings)

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Interior Chinatown  By  cover art

Interior Chinatown

By: Charles Yu
Narrated by: Joel de la Fuente
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Publisher's summary

A 2020 National Book Award Winner

"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)

©2020 Charles Yu (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic 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)

"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." (Terry Hong, Booklist, starred review)