ODUS, AASA Conversation: Charles Yu and Paul Nadal

Feb 11, 2021, 5:00 pm6:30 pm
via YouTube and Facebook Live
  • Asian American Student Association
  • Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students
Event Description
Charles Yu; cover of 'Interior Chinatown' by Charles Yu; Paul Nadal

Left to right: Charles Yu; Interior Chinatown; Paul Nadal. Photo of Charles Yu by Tin Chiou

The Asian American Student Association (AASA) and the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students (ODUS) are thrilled to share one of today’s most brilliant and inventive writers, Charles Yu, with the Princeton community and greater public. AASA and ODUS share a common goal to present compelling narratives that illuminate how identity and race operate in contemporary society. The discussion between Yu and Paul Nadal, assistant professor of English and American studies, will demonstrate ways in which scholarly pursuits, popular culture and lived experience can connect.

Charles Yu is the author of four books, including Interior Chinatown, winner of the 2020 National Book Award for fiction, and the novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, a New York Times Notable Book and a Time Magazine Best Book of the Year. He received the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 Award and was nominated for two Writers Guild of America Awards for his work on the HBO series Westworld. He has also written for shows on FX, AMC, and HBO. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Wired, among other publications. A native Californian, Yu graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in molecular and cellular biology and a minor in creative writing. After law school at Columbia University, Yu practiced law for a number of years before writing full time.

Paul Nadal will interview Yu before opening the discussion to questions from students. At Princeton, Nadal teaches courses on Asian American literature and culture, and serves as a faculty fellow at the Scholars Institute Fellowship Program (SIFP), Princeton’s mentorship program for first-generation and low-income students. Nadal is serving as an elected delegate (2020-23) for the CLCS Southeast Asian and Southeast Asian Diasporic Forum at the Modern Language Association. Nadal has roots in California, receiving his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Jerry Jiao ’24, a member of AASA leadership, noted that students are “super excited to host Charles Yu, the 2020 National Book Award winner and a 5 under 35 honoree, to share his perspectives on the unique issues that the Asian American community faces. His award-winning novel Interior Chinatown strongly resonates with many young Asian Americans both in and outside of the Princeton community, as it probes into model minority stereotypes. It’s an incredible opportunity to engage in a conversation about minority representation in American and we look forward to sharing his ideas with our community.”

ODUS is providing free copies of Interior Chinatown to undergraduate students who register in advance via Google form. The event is free and open to the general public. The discussion will be streamed on the ODUS YouTube channel and on the University and AASA Facebook pages.