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Interior Chinatown: A Novel von Charles Yu
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Interior Chinatown: A Novel (2020. Auflage)

von Charles Yu (Autor)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
4653339,479 (3.92)51
"One of the funniest books of the year has arrived, a delicious, ambitious Hollywood satire." --The Washington Post "Fresh and beautiful . . . Interior Chinatown represents yet another stellar destination in the journey of a sui generis author of seemingly limitless skill and ambition." --Jeff VanderMeer, The New York Times Book Review From the infinitely inventive author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe comes 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. Sometimes he gets to be Background Oriental Making a Weird Face or even Disgraced Son, but he is always 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. At least that's what he has been told, time and time again. Except by one person, his mother. Who says to him: Be more.   Playful but heartfelt, a send-up of Hollywood tropes and Asian stereotypes, Interior Chinatown is Charles Yu's most moving, daring, and masterly novel yet.… (mehr)
Mitglied:mitchtroutman
Titel:Interior Chinatown: A Novel
Autoren:Charles Yu (Autor)
Info:Broadway Books (A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc) (2020), 288 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
Bewertung:
Tags:currently-reading

Werk-Details

Interior Chinatown von Charles Yu

  1. 00
    The Sellout von Paul Beatty (novelcommentary)
    novelcommentary: Similar satirical portrait and courtroom scene
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Once you get into the swing of the format (a novel in the form of a screenplay, all in terrible Courier font), this book just gets better and better. How does it feel to be treated like a generic Asian person? Who gets to be considered as a true American? Tough stuff. But it's written perfectly. I really liked the way that Charles Yu used this format. The main character, Willis Wu, grew up wanting to be "Kung Fu Guy", the ultimate role that so few attain. The narrative goes through the progression of his life (all the way from a child of immigrants to Kung Fu dad). It also explores what it's like to be Asian in a Black and White story. Good, good book. ( )
  KatyBee | Apr 14, 2021 |
I liked the concept and what he was able to do with it. The ideas about self and created self are really interesting. The women in the book were limited, though, and reliance on the child to help him get sorted out seemed too pat. But again, the archetypes and dramatic structure were well done. ( )
  erikasolberg770 | Apr 8, 2021 |
I'd been wanting to read this book, ever since I heard about it in 2020. And now it is so timely, with all the anti-Asian hate sentiments permeating throughout the U.S.

Willis Wu is a Taiwanese-American who lives in a San Francisco Chinatown SRO (single room occupancy) above the Golden Palace restaurant. Every day he goes downstairs to participate in the filming of a procedural cop show called "Black and White." What makes this book so original and unique is that it is written half in prose and half like a script. The procedural cop show is in perpetual production, and it moves surreally back and forth from show production to real life, providing the background that shows just how ludicrous are our concepts of race, racial stereotypes, and racial injustice. At times laugh-out-loud funny in its biting skewering of these concepts, "Interior Chinatown" is that stand-out novel that provides commentary on social issues while entertaining us at the same time. By describing the roles that Willis can choose from in his acting career -- Generic Asian Man, Striving Immigrant, Delivery Guy, Kung Fu Guy, etc. -- author Charles Yu shows us the irony that these are roles into which Asian-Americans get pigeon-holed in real life.

Here and there in the book Yu throws in a list of anti-Asian legislation that was enacted throughout the history of the U.S. The facts are incredibly sobering. The citing of history serves as a brake pedal for the book, to make the reader remember that, although the book you're reading is entertaining and makes fun of racial stereotypes, the reality is that it's been this way for a very long time and permeates our culture.

As an American-born Taiwanese myself, this book resonated with me SO much. The descriptions of growing up in the U.S. with immigrant parents from Taiwan were spot-on, and I actually understood the Taiwanese phrases thrown in here and there. I didn't give the book 5 stars because I didn't totally love it, but I did like it very much. ( )
  niaomiya | Apr 3, 2021 |
The fact that this was mostly written in screenplay format but did not get on my nerves is a testament to the writing. This is the story of Willis Wu, Generic Asian Man, a mostly background player in a buddy-cop TV show with many scenes set in Chinatown who aspires to work up to the ultimate role of Kung Fu Guy. At first, I tried to parse this as a story that was happening both on and off set, but then I figured that was not the intention and instead viewed it as all part of the "show" that represents an exaggerated view of reality, and that worked better for me. It does get a little preachy and ridiculous toward the end, but isn't that emblematic of the Hollywood ending? (Think of the ending to The Player, which does the same sort of thing.) Sharp-witted and clever, but I think the back stories of Wu's parents were the most affecting parts of the novel for me. ( )
  sturlington | Mar 31, 2021 |
Our protagonist is a bit player in a TV series about a black and a white cop solving crimes for the Impossible Crimes Unit. Many of the crimes happen in Chinatown – drugs, family honor, prostitution – all that Chinese stuff.

He dreams of a recurring role with perhaps a few lines – and the ultimate – becoming KUNG FU GUY. He grew up watching a Kung Fu show with a white actor with his eyes taped playing an Oriental man.

The producers don’t care what ethnicity you are, or what style of fighting you do as long as it’s flashy.

Our Generic Asian Man’s father was once an actor and accomplished fighter. His mother played many roles as Beautiful Asian Woman. Now they both have occasional roles as elderly dishwashers.

How can a generic Asian man become the star?

This was written as a teleplay (TV script). I thought it was very clever. At times it was quite funny, but it is also a sad commentary on the casual racism when Americans and American TV don’t distinguish between nationalities, ethnicities or subtleties of being Asian. ( )
  streamsong | Mar 28, 2021 |
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If a film needed an exotic backdrop . . . Chinatown could be made to represent itself or any other Chinatown in the world. Even today, it stands in for the ambiguous Asian anywhere. - Bonnie Tsui
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INT. GOLDEN PALACE
Ever since you were a boy, you've dreamt of being Kung Fu Guy.
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"One of the funniest books of the year has arrived, a delicious, ambitious Hollywood satire." --The Washington Post "Fresh and beautiful . . . Interior Chinatown represents yet another stellar destination in the journey of a sui generis author of seemingly limitless skill and ambition." --Jeff VanderMeer, The New York Times Book Review From the infinitely inventive author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe comes 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. Sometimes he gets to be Background Oriental Making a Weird Face or even Disgraced Son, but he is always 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. At least that's what he has been told, time and time again. Except by one person, his mother. Who says to him: Be more.   Playful but heartfelt, a send-up of Hollywood tropes and Asian stereotypes, Interior Chinatown is Charles Yu's most moving, daring, and masterly novel yet.

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