Publication Date: 05/08/2021 ISBN: 9781787703445 Category:

Interior Chinatown

Charles Yu

Publisher: Europa Editions (UK) Ltd
Publication Date: 05/08/2021 ISBN: 9781787703445 Category:
Paperback / Softback



Mr B's review

Willis is working hard as the background character known simply as Generic Asian Man. His ultimate goal is Kung Fu Guy, a star role his father briefly tasted before fading into Old Asian Man. Structurally playful – the novel is typeset in most part like a movie script – this story isn’t about auditioning for the Hollywood role of a lifetime, but a lifetime of playing the only role available. A brilliant satire about assimilation, systematic racial “othering” and the possibility of transcendence. – Laura 




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 the protagonist in his own life: he’s merely Generic Asian Man. Sometimes he gets to be Background Oriental Making or even Disgraced Son, but always he is relegated to a prop. Yet every day, he leaves his tiny room in Chinatown 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?

After stumbling into the spotlight, Willis finds himself launched into a wider world than he’s ever known, discovering not only the secret history of Chinatown, but also the buried legacy of his own family. Infinitely inventive and deeply personal, Interior Chinatown is Charles Yu’s most moving, daring, and masterful novel yet.

Goodreads 10 Books that ‘Disrupted’ the Literary Status Quo


“What a clever, clever book this is!”-Regina on Goodreads

“Truly unique.”-Kevin on Amazon

“*inhales sharply* *screams* This book makes me feel seen.”-Sofia on Goodreads

“Thoughtful, moving, and just hilarious.”-Charles on Netgalley

“Absolutely loved this book.”-Andres on Amazon

“An emotional roller coaster.”-Ellen on Amazon

Publisher Review

“A funny, biting take down of the racism in the entertainment industry […] both humorous and heartrending.” * The Independent * “A novel that manages the rare feat of being both extravagantly experimental and a lot of fun to read.” * The Times * “The novel is grounded by its arch comedy.” * The Telegraph * “Wrenching, hilarious, sharp, surreal, and above all, original.” * Emily St John Mandel * “This is a hilarious book. You’ll laugh at the universe Charles Yu creates, kitty-corner to our own and just so off-kilter-and then, without warning, you’ll be pulled under by the riptide and everything will suddenly make beautiful, perfect, heartbreaking, unexplainable sense.” * Raphael Bob-Waksberg, creator of BoJack Horseman * “One of the funniest books of the year has arrived, a delicious, ambitious Hollywood satire.” * The Washington Post * “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 * “An acid indictment of Asian stereotypes and a parable for outcasts feeling invisible in this fast-moving world.” * Kirkus Reviews * “From Paul Beatty’s The Sellout to Brandon Taylor’s Real Life, some of the most talked-about novels from the U.S. in recent years have been male coming-of-age narratives shaped by experiences of racism. Styled as a typewritten television script, [Interior Chinatown is a] zany spin on the genre.” * Daily Mail * “Highly inventive and hilarious.” (How To Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe) * The Times * “Brimming with alternative universes, futuristic landscapes and gleeful metaphysics….. Yu’s spirit of invention is infectious.” (How To Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe) * The Sunday Times *

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