Author Charles Yu discusses ‘Interior Chinatown’ with Ballerina Book Club

Author Charles Yu discusses ‘Interior Chinatown’ with Ballerina Book Club
Charles Yu. Photo: Tina Chiou.

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Author Charles Yu on his novel “Interior Chinatown,” our April Ballerina Book Club pick

Charles Yu’s inventive novel “Interior Chinatown” centers on protagonist Willis Wu — an actor who aspires to emerge from background scenes into the spotlight. Willis holds the role of “Kung Fu Guy” as the pinnacle of success, though his mother wishes for him to “be more.”

An insightful take on the discriminatory structures of Hollywood, particularly for Asian Americans, the novel takes the form of a screenplay and is set within the interiors of Chinatown, which doubles as the location for the procedural cop show “Black and White.”

Ballerina Book Club host Isabella Boylston spoke with Yu about how the book (and its unique structure) came together, his winding career path, exploring Asian identity through writing and, of course, what pasta dish the book would be.

Watch the interview above!

For discussion questions about “Interior Chinatown,” head over to our April book pick page.

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