by Charles YU
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?
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 the buried legacy of his own family. Infinitely inventive and deeply personal, exploring the themes of pop culture, assimilation, and immigration—Interior Chinatown is Charles Yu’s most moving, daring, and masterful novel yet.
Free copies of Interior Chinatown will be available at the NEA Big Read Massillon Kickoff event at the Massillon Museum on Saturday, April 1. Various other locations throughout Stark County will also have copies to distribute following the kickoff event. For more information, visit the Massillon Museum’s website.
For more information and a selection of discussion questions about this book, visit the NEA Big Read page for this title.