Monday, January 27, 2020

Charles Yu

Charles Yu's new nove is Interior Chinatown.

From the transcript of his NPR interview with Scott Simon:

SIMON: We see so many stories these days. We know so many life stories these days about Chinese American scientists, doctors, lawyers, university presidents, grad students, novelists. What do these stories often miss about Chinese history in America?

YU: I think what I was trying to get at with telling the story this way was capturing something about the feeling of what it's like to be not the center of the action, to - even as you touched on, you know, Chinese Americans and Taiwanese Americans and other Asian American groups have excelled in various fields. And yet, at least from my perspective, there can be still a feeling of it doesn't seem to add up.

This story, to me, came at a time in my life when I - yes, I've been working in TV for a couple of years. But I'm also reaching an age where my own parents are, you know, aging. And they've been in America for decades, more - you know, more than 50 years. And my own kids are reaching an age, too, where they are asking questions.

They can watch the news. And they can ask, are we real Americans? You know, is there a qualifier in front of that? And so positioned between them is this sort of middle-aged writer. I wanted to write a book about what it's like from...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue