WVU selects ‘Interior Chinatown’ as 2022-2023 on-campus reading | Today

Charles Yu, author of “Interior Chinatown”.

A deeply personal, moving and humorous novel about race, stereotypes and ultimately the limits of the American Dream, will capture West Virginia Universitystudents, faculty and staff like this year WVU Campus Read.

Charles Yu’s “Interior Chinatown” uses both humor and the form of a crime show script to introduce us to Willis Wu, a young American and son of Chinese immigrants, who yearns to thrive in a country that refuses to let it be anything but a stereotype.

“We are very pleased to introduce ‘Interior Chinatown’ to our campus community for its ability to resonate deeply with our students, faculty and staff around the themes of identity and inclusion” , said Renee Nicholsondirector of theWVU Center for Humanitieswhich oversees the Read Campus.

“Using the familiar tropes of television, the book allows us to experience both humor and heartbreak to tackle topics such as race and race relations, the failure of the American Dream, and the how Asian Americans may feel invisible in the larger American culture.” added Nicholson. “We look forward to engaging in meaningful discussions with the WVU community around a wide range of topics, from unusual and inventive structure of the novel in search of empathy for others. This novel also invites us to consider things like our experience of Hollywood, representation, and cultural stereotypes.

Campus Read fosters an exchange of ideas, thoughtful dialogue and new connections as fellow mountaineers come together to discuss important ideas about human experiences. It provides an opportunity to engage the campus, especially freshmen, in a year-long discussion of the themes of a single book.

Throughout the 2022-23 academic year, faculty and staff will also have the opportunity to integrate the book into courses and programs at all levels of the system.

Campus Read resources including suggested classroom activities, readings, discussion guides, videos and more are available atCampus Read website.

Events centered on “Interior Chinatown” will take place during the fall and spring semesters. All events will be open to the public and will be posted on the website as they are announced. Faculty, staff and student organizations are also encouraged to incorporate Campus Read into their events and courses. To partner with Campus Read at a related event or to share classroom activities based on the book, contact Renée Nicholson at renee.nicholson@mail.wvu.edu.

Since the inception of Campus Read, the WVU community is encouraged to offer suggestions on books to consider for future Campus Read selections. Applications can be submitted to theCampus Read website.

A selection committee of students, faculty, and staff narrowed down the list of those suggested. The committee reviewed books in a variety of genres and summarized the merits of each as potential on-campus reading in a report to the provost’s office, which makes the final decision.

Faculty, staff, and students are invited to join Campus Read’s selection and program committees. Contact HumanitiesCenter@mail.wvu.edu for more information.



CONTACT: Renee Nicholson
Director, WVU Center for Humanities
304.293.2514; Renee.Nicholson@mail.wvu.edu

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James C. Tibbs