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Charles Yu's Satire 'Interior Chinatown' Wins 2020 National Book Award For Fiction

Instead of a posh black-tie affair - an online ceremony streamed on YouTube. This is how the National Book Awards 2020 announced its winners to the world last week. However, it all just went to the best, as the usual audience of approximately 700 guests turned into a much bigger mass of digital spectators who witnessed the glory of Charles Yu who have won the Award for fiction with his novel Interior Chinatown.

Charles Yu, a former lawyer, didn't even prepare his acceptance speech, as he was sure he was not going to win. “I’m going to go melt into a puddle right now,” he said. Interior Chinatown is his fourth novel, written in a form of a screenplay. It is a true satire targeted at Hollywood and Asian - American stereotypes.

According to the judges, "By turns hilarious and flat-out heartbreaking, Charles Yu’s Interior Chinatown is a bright, bold, gut punch of a novel. Written in the form of a screenplay with porous boundaries, Yu’s wonderfully inventive work spotlights the welter of obstacles its everyman protagonist must confront in a profoundly racist, rigidly hierarchical world as he does his best - in the story of his own life - to land a decent role."

2020 Booker Prize winner Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart was also shortlisted to the National Book Award for fiction along with Rumaan Alam's Leave The World Behind, Lydia Millet's The Children's Bible, and Deesha Philyaw's The Secret Lives Of Church Ladies.

Last year the National Award for Fiction was handed to Susan's Choi's Trust Exercise.

The National Book Awards were established in 1950 to celebrate the best writing in America. The Awards currently honor the best Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature published each year. No one else, not even the Foundation staff, learns who the Winners are until they are announced at the Ceremony that evening.


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