Race, Region, Rule: Genre and the Case of Charlie Chan

  title={Race, Region, Rule: Genre and the Case of Charlie Chan},
  author={Charles J. Rzepka},
  journal={PMLA/Publications of the Modern Language Association of America},
  pages={1463 - 1481}
  • Charles J. Rzepka
  • Published 1 October 2007
  • Art
  • PMLA/Publications of the Modern Language Association of America
This essay analyzes genre's impact on racial representation in a body of popular fiction that has shaped European Americans' definition of Asian American identity for more than three-quarters of a century: the Charlie Chan novels of Earl Derr Biggers. To advance his stated goal of overturning Chinese stereotypes, Biggers experimented with genres of locale and criminality. The Hawaiian setting of his first Chan story, The House without a Key, challenged the generic topography of Chinatown… 
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