When I found out about Yunte Huang’s Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History (whew!) – I put it on my “to read” list. In addition to exploring the life of Chang Apana (the real life inspiration of Charlie Chan), the author discuses racism in the Chan books, movies etc.
According to the review in the Washington post, Huang’s approach is to counter “the accusations of racial stereotyping and reductionism that have often been assigned to Chan and the Chan films.” (Not sure I trust this reviewer though.)
Before reading Huang, I’ve decided to judge the great detective for myself by going to the source material. Turns out Earl Derr Biggers only wrote 6 novels, so I’ve decided to read them all: The House Without A Key, The Chinese Parrot, Behind That Curtain, The Black Camel, Charlie Chan Carries On, and Keeper Of The Keys.
I’m 110% sure that when Biggers wrote these novels, I’m not the audience he envisioned… Fun (or frustrating) times ahead!