Interior Chinatown
February 2, 2020 2:09 PM - by Charles Yu - Subscribe

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...

I'm reading this now. More than halfway through. It is marvelous. Funny. Serious. Introspective. Frustrating. Challenging. I was a bit worried at first that the gimmick (screenplay, tonal self-effacement) was going to run thin, but it hasn't.
posted by chavenet (2 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Loved it. I was also worried it would be too gimmicky - I loved Yu's first collection and How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, but wasn't as excited about his second collection, and was a little worried he'd lean too hard on the (Archetypes? Tropes?) here - but discovered within a few pages that this book was going to be fine, I was going to enjoy reading it. Which I did. I'm glad it's being promoted.

Yu published a recent essay in Time, which I also really liked, and which is relevant to the novel but also generally to fanfare: What It's Like to Never Ever See Yourself on TV
posted by cdefgfeadgagfe at 8:39 PM on February 9, 2020 [2 favorites]

Really liked this one. I loved the way it played with real-world reality vs. movie reality and wandered seamlessly back and forth between the two.
posted by kyrademon at 7:57 AM on September 18, 2022

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