Photo of Charles Yu

Ten Evenings

Charles Yu

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“The widest gulf in the world is the distance between getting by, and not getting by.”

Charles Yu, Interior Chinatown

The author of four books and numerous television scripts, Charles Yu won the 2020 National Book Award for Interior Chinatown, an ambitious satire about race, pop culture, immigration, assimilation, and escaping roles we are forced to play.

Willis Wu doesn’t perceive himself as the protagonist 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. Or is it?

In addition to winning the 2020 National Book Award, Charles Yu received the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” Award and was nominated for two Writers Guild of America Awards for his work on the HBO series, Westworld. He has also written for shows on FX, AMC, and HBO. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New YorkerThe New York TimesThe AtlanticThe Wall Street Journal, and Wired, among other publications.

Interior Chinatown . . . recalls the humorous and heartfelt short stories of George Saunders, the metafictional high jinks of Mark Leyner, and films like The Truman Show.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Partner

Thanks to our promotional partner National Book Foundation

Books

Copies of Interior Chinatown with a signed bookplate are available from White Whale Bookstore

Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu book cover

WHEN

Monday, October 18, 2021
Virtual Event, watch anytime online for one week

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