The premier source of news and information in Central Massachusetts.
In print, online, mobile, and video.
Charlie Chan is a radically polarizing fictional detective of novels and numerous films. His ungrammatical speech, his fortune cookie witticisms have been declared offensive to most Asian Americans. But historically, the character of Charlie Chan was beloved by people of China, who found the detective a humorous trickster. Even the real life inspiration for the fictional hero, Chang Apana of the Honolulu Police Department, loved the movies. Tonight on Inquiry, we talk with YUNTE HUANG, writer, teacher and Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbera. His new cultural history CHARLIE CHAN: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE HONORABLE DETECTIVE AND HIS REDEZVOUS WITH AMERICAN HISTORY presents a more nuanced appreciation of Chinese hero. While fully acknowledging the racist precedents that contributed to creating the Chan personae, Professor Huang also believes that Charlie Chan should have a place among the great fictional detectives like Sam Spade and Hercule Poiriot. Tune into tonight for a fascinating and unique look at Chinese American history and the incredible life of the real Charlie Chan.