Interview with Charles Yu author of “Sorry Please Thank You Stories”

Today at 5:00pm on WCHE 1520am, Sam interviews Charles Yu author of Sorry Please Thank You Stories.

The author of the widely praised debut novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe returns with a hilarious, heartbreaking, and utterly original collection of short stories.

A big-box store employee is confronted by a zombie during the graveyard shift, a problem that pales in comparison to his inability to ask a coworker out on a date … A fighter leads his band of virtual warriors, thieves, and wizards across a deadly computer-generated landscape … A company outsources grief for profit, their tagline: “Don’t feel like having a bad day? Let someone else have it for you.” Drawing from both pop culture and science, Charles Yu is a brilliant observer of contemporary society, filling his stories with equal parts laugh-out-loud humor and piercing insight into the human condition. He has already garnered comparisons to such masters as Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams, and in Sorry Please Thank You, we have resounding proof of a major new voice in American fiction.

Charles Yu is  is the author of the novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe and the short story collections Third Class Superhero and his latest Sorry Please Thank You.

How to Live Safely was ranked the year’s second best science fiction novel by the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas — runner up for the Campbell Memorial Award.

His fiction has been published in a number of magazines and literary journals, including Oxford American, The Gettysburg Review, Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, Mississippi Review, and Alaska Quarterly Review, and cited for special mention in the Pushcart Prize Anthology XXVIII. He received the 2004 Sherwood Anderson Fiction Award for his story, “Class Three Superhero.

If you miss an interview you can always catch it at Wellington Square Books or on the Avid Reader at iTunes.

Charles Yu’s first novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe follows Protagonist Yu (P.Y.) through space and time. It’s science fiction, but, as New York Times reviewer Ander Monson put it, “Yu’s sound and fury conceal (and construct) this novel’s dense, tragic, all-too-human heart.”

Protagonist Yu can be found in Minor Universe 31, a slightly damaged world suffering from an incomplete conceptual framework. Joined by a piece of software named TAMMY and a virtual but “ontologically valid” dog, P.Y. navigates the maddeningly unsure space-time fabric of his universe in an effort to find his long-lost father. 

Author Charles Yu talked to Sam on the Avid Reader show a couple of weeks ago. He has a busy life as a lawyer and father, finding time to write between the hours of 12:00 and 3:00AM. How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe is one of our favorites of 2010!

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

Charles Yu

Hardcover $24

Listen to the interview

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