Alumni Book Club

Alumni Book Club

  • Pile of colourful books

Read and connect with your fellow alumni

Join Cambridge alumni for stimulating conversations about our bimonthly book selection. Discussions will be moderated by a dedicated group leader, who will share additional content and ask questions to prompt debate.

Join the Club

Interior Chinatown front cover

January - March 2022

Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu

Willis Wu dreams of being King Fu Guy rather than Generic Asian Man—his role in his own life. Every day he goes to Golden Palace, where they film Black and White, a procedural cop show. Willis suddenly finds himself in the limelight, but he’s about to discover so much more!

Playful but heartfelt, a send-up of Hollywood tropes and Asian stereotypes—Interior Chinatown is Charles Yu's most moving, daring, and masterful novel yet.

Suggested Reading Schedule

  • On January 6th, reply to our Before the Book question, then open the book and dive into the reading
  • By January 20th, finish reading Acts I and II
  • By January 27th, finish reading Act III and IV
  • By February 3rd, finish reading Act V
  • By February 17th, finish reading Act VI
  • By March 3rd, finish reading the book and then visit our community forum to discuss final impressions and reflections 
Charles Yu

A Live Q&A Author Talk with Charles Yu, author of Interior Chinatown

Wednesday 9 March

Yu will answer your questions about his dynamic novel and dig deeper into the development of “Generic Asian Man".

Register today

How are books selected?

Alumni Book Club members vote during each reading period to choose the next book. The selection of books on which you vote is usually based on participants’ interests, member recommendations and Cambridge authors. The very first book in June 2020 was pre-selected to get the group started.

How do I get hold of the books?

Alumni are responsible for sourcing their own books.

Participants can either buy, borrow or download a copy of the chosen book.

Will the book club meet in person?

No, the book club will be entirely online. The advantage of this is that alumni living all over the world can participate, meaning we will get diverse perspectives on the texts we read.

How do book discussions work?

Our book club will have a dedicated moderator who manages the forum where discussions occur online. The moderator will pose questions to the group, share relevant articles, and facilitate conversation about topics in the book. Members will be encouraged to post and share as well. This format allows for ongoing conversation and makes it easy for alumni to connect with each other. 

How often will books be read and what is the time commitment?

Books will be read every two months.

If you have on average 30 minutes a week to read you should be fine. There is no required level of participation in group discussions; if don’t have time to read one of the books that's okay. The goal of the club is to make connections with other alumni through reading, so if you don’t have time to read one of the books, that’s ok.

Is there a cost to participate?

Participation is free for Cambridge alumni.

Readers are responsible for buying, borrowing or downloading the texts we read.

What if my question isn’t answered here?

Feel free to send an email to contact@alumni.cam.ac.uk and we'd be happy to help.