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Photo of Charles Yu wearing a Brown long sleeved shirt and smiling

Charles Yu

September 27, 2022, 7:00PM, Zoom 

From the infinitely inventive author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universecomes 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 a protagonist even in his own life: he’s merely Generic Asian Man. 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 highest aspiration he can imagine for a Chinatown denizen. 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, and what that means for him, in today’s America.

Playful but heartfelt, a send-up of Hollywood tropes and Asian stereotypes–Interior Chinatown is Charles Yu’s most moving, daring, and masterful novel yet.

This book was selected as the 2023 Campus Read by a committee of WVU Students, Faculty, and Staff. The Campus Read is introduced by the university every year as a way to facilitate discussion, stimulate curiosity, and provide a platform for deeper learning across disciplines. 


CHARLES YU is the author of four books, including Interior Chinatown (the winner of the 2020 National Book Award for fiction), and the novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe (a New York Times Notable Book and a Time magazine best book of the year). He 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 Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Wired, among other publications. Together with, he established the Betty L. Yu and Jin C. Yu Writing Prizes, in honor of his parents. 

This event is co-sponsored by the WVU Humanities Center, which oversees selection, academic programming, and other aspects of the WVU Campus Read. 

Captioning Services will be provided for this event. This event will be virtual and open to the WVU community and the public.