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Charlie Chan The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous With American History (Hardcover)

Author:  Yunte Huang
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FORMAT: Hardcover
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Learn more about Charlie Chan:

Format: Hardcover
ISBN-10: 0393069621
ISBN-13: 9780393069624
Sku: 212507815
Publish Date: 8/1/2010
Pages:  354
Shortlisted for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography and the 2011 Edgar Award for Best Critical/Biographical Book: "An ingenious and absorbing book, that provides a convincing new mode for examining the Chinese experience through both Chinese and Western eyes. It will permanently change the way we tell this troubled yet gripping story." Jonathan Spence, author of The Search for Modern China and Return to Dragon Mountain
From the Publisher:
This is the first biography of the cinematic hero Charlie Chan, whose character was inspired by the real-life story of Chang Apana, a bullwhip-wielding, five-foot-tall Chinese immigrant detective whose raids on opium dens and gambling parlors made him into a legend. Emerging against the backdrop of racially riven early-twentieth-century Hawaii, Apana's bravado inspired mystery writer Earl Derr Biggers, a Harvard graduate, to write six best-selling Charlie Chan novels. The resulting Hollywood character was not a stereotypical ?Chinaman? but a wisecracking sleuth with a knack for turning Oriental wisdom into soup-alley Chinatown blues. Yunte Huang's exploration of this remarkable story asks whether Chan is a ?Yellow Uncle Tom? or a ?swell dish of chop suey mystery.? Examining Charlie Chan in fact and fiction, Huang follows this untold story from the glittering beaches of Waikiki to the movie studios of Hollywood.
Selected by the New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of 2010.


"Readers will learn a great deal abou how the Chinese fared as plantation workers in Hawaii, about Hawaiian history, and about Chang, about Biggers, and about the meaning of the Chan oeuvre, both books and movies....This is a beautifully written analysis of racism and an appreciation...made credible by Huang's background." (starred review) - Connie Fletcher 07/01/2010

"[P]art memoir, part history, part cultural-studies essay and part grab bag of odd and little-known details." - Charles McGrath 08/10/2010

"A great delight of Huang's quirky, smart, and entertaining book is his sleuthing out the real story behind Charlie Chan." - Jill Lepore 08/09/2010

Product Attributes

Product attributeeBooks:   Kobo
Product attributeBook Format:   Hardcover
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0354
Product attributePublisher:   W. W. Norton & Company
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