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Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History
 
 
Author
Yunte Huang.
Publisher Norton  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.75 x 1 inches
ISBN 9780393069624
Pages/Publication Date 355/2010
Daedalus Item Code 41466
List Price: $26.95
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(Shortlisted for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography and a 2011 Edgar Award) This provocative first "biography" of fictional detective Charlie Chan presents American history through the unique filter of a racially and culturally stereotyped Hollywood icon, whose roots extend to a real-life detective who wielded a bullwhip in territorial Hawaii. Yunte Huang ingeniously resurrects the "honorable detective" from the graveyard of rejected postmodern symbols, where all stereotypes have been relegated as demeaning and derogatory, and reclaims him as as embodiment of America's rich cultural diversity.

"Described as a 'heady mixture of scholarship, essay and memoir' (Washington Post), Charlie Chan energetically deconstructs the social and cultural milieu of the fictional detective as it examines the people and events that contributed to his popularity. Huang interweaves a vast number of historical and cultural topics in this sprawling work, including the class system of prestatehood Hawaii, the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, the 'Yellow Peril,' American literature, and Hollywood. Critics praised Huang's extensive research, careful analysis, and his willingness to use his own experiences as a Chinese immigrant to examine racism, exploitation, and assimilation—a deeply personal but surprisingly cheerful journey into his past. As provocative as it is engaging."—Bookmarks Magazine

 
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