Thursday, August 5, 2010

The creation of Charlie Chan

The detective has certainly been controversial over the years, but he was also popular, first in the novels by Earl Derr Biggers, and then, of course, in movies, comics and even animated television. A review of a new book in The New Yorker (Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and his Rendezvous with American History by Yunte Huang, Norton, $26.95) allows the magazine to lay out an interesting tale.

'Earl Derr Biggers did not invent Charlie Chan. “How can I write of Chinese?” he asked Chan, in that fictional conversation with his fictional detective. “I could not distinguish Chinese man from Wall Street broker.” (Chan had an answer for that. Chan had an answer for everything. “Chinese would be the one who sold you the honest securities.”) ' More...

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