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Social Justice Reading Club

Fall 2021 Discussion

 Read. Watch. Discuss.

READ: Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu

Interior Chinatown is an engaging novel written similar to a screen play. A limited number of complimentary copies are available at Gumberg Library, first-come, first-served. E-mail Maggie Cowburn to request a print copy or link to the first 30 pages on e-reserve.

 The Social Justice Reading Club has selected 2020 National Book Award Winner Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu as the Fall 2021 book selection. It has been described asa 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 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." -

Please read the book on your own and then attend the Author Talk:

WATCH: Virtual Author Talk with Charles Yu

Author Charles Yu spoke as part of the Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures Ten Evenings series. A recording of his talk was available online October 18-25. The Center for Excellence in Diversity and Student Inclusion sponsored tickets to watch the recording.

If you missed the virtual author talk, please scroll down to see links to several other online videos with Charles Yu.

After watching the Author Talk, join the discussion:

DISCUSS: Book Discussion

Join a discussion of Interior Chinatown and Charles Yu’s talk with Dr. Emad Mirmotahari, Associate Professor of English, and Dr. Sara Baron, University Librarian, on Thursday, November 4th at noon at Gumberg Library. Please register at this link. The first 10 people who register will receive a free copy of the book! Lunch will be provided.

With thanks to our sponsors:

Sponsored by Gumberg Library, the Center for Excellence in Diversity and Student Inclusion, in collaboration with the Asian Student Association and the Filipino American Student Association.

Additional information about Interior Chinatown:

Book Reviews

Videos with the Author