May-lee Chai and Charles Yu
This virtual program brings to readers here esteemed fiction writer and educator (creative writing at San Francisco State University) May-lee Chai, along with National Book Award-winning fiction writer Charles Yu. May-lee Chai is the author of ten highly praised books, among them the American Book Award-winning collection of stories, Useful Phrases for Immigrants, which is now followed by her newest book, Tomorrow in Shanghai and Other Stories (Blair).
"Tomorrow in Shanghai by May-lee Chai is an insightful, empathetic collection with a vast and imaginative range. These stories and narrators across the Chinese diaspora examine the complexity of familial relationships, probe our most formative experiences and memories, and ask what it means to belong."—K-Ming Chang.
“May-lee Chai's abundant gifts as a writer are on full display in this collection. In these stories we find people displaced, people who find themselves, by choice or by accident, navigating foreign lands and strange worlds, looking for the way home. With invention and nuance, Chai creates a sense of heightened awareness, of distance, both physical and emotional. Illuminating, heartbreaking, and yet also very funny, Tomorrow in Shanghai is a rewarding and entertaining read."—Charles Yu.
Yes, Charles Yu. His four published books, two story collections and two novels, include Third Class Superhero, Thank You Please Sorry: Stories, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, and the 2020 National Book Award-winner, Interior Chinatown (Vintage Contemporaries). He has read at Elliott Bay several times, and now he visits virtually as part of this evening.
“Bold, even groundbreaking. . . . Interior Chinatown solders together mordant wit and melancholic whimsy to produce a moving exploration of race and assimilation.” —San Francisco Chronicle.
“Interior Chinatown . . . recalls the humorous and heartfelt short stories of George Saunders, the metafictional high jinks of Mark Leyner, and films like The Truman Show.” —The New York Times.
Charles Yu, withTaiwaneseAmerican.org, has also sponsored the Betty L. and Jin C. Yu Creative Writing Prizes for Students.