How to watch Charles Yu explore his award-winning novel at the L.A. Times Book Club
Yu’s fourth book is a satirical novel that explores how Hollywood and society trap Asian Americans in stereotypical roles. In a recent interview, Yu talked about his years-long struggle to write “Interior Chinatown” and his fears that readers wouldn’t be interested in the subject.
“I wondered if I would run into people who would say, ‘What is the big deal? Is it really such a big problem?’” he recalled. “I thought I’d get skepticism. Does this story really need to be told?”
The Irvine author’s self-doubt turned out to be off the mark. In November “Interior Chinatown” won the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction. Yu is writing a pilot episode for an adaptation of the book for Hulu.
“Interior Chinatown” is the May selection of The Times’ community book club, which debuted in spring 2019 to build on the annual Festival of Books and to keep the live storytelling going year-round. Every month, we share a common read, publish stories on the topic and invite everyone to read along. We then host a community book club evening with the featured author and invite readers to join that too.
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