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Thu Oct 14, 2021, 12:47 AM

Charles Yu's latest novel does remarkable job exploring what it means to be Asian in America

Growing up in California, Charles Yu immediately noticed a difference while attending summer camps in Michigan. As soon as he got off the plane from Los Angeles, Yu realized he’d been living in a bubble where people who looked like him were commonplace.

But in Michigan, he stood out merely because he was Asian.

“Even just driving two hours from L.A. to Bakersfield, it’s a very different feel than in a metro area,” he says. “I had cousins who grew up in a small town, a suburb of Boston, who told me they were the only Asian kids in their school. I couldn’t imagine that.”

Yu, who appears Mon., Oct. 18, as a guest of Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures Ten Evenings series, explores what it means to be Asian in the U.S. in Interior Chinatown, winner of the 2020 National Book Award for fiction.

There are so many remarkable things Yu achieves in the novel. The story of a young Asian actor, Willis Wu, forever relegated to playing secondary roles, is told with a rare combination of humor and pathos. The characters are vividly drawn and memorable.

Read more: https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/charles-yus-latest-novel-does-remarkable-job-exploring-what-it-means-to-be-asian-in-america/Content?oid=20365029
(Pittsburgh City Paper)

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