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Graham Russell Gao Hodges

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Anna May Wong
Anna May Wong (3 Formats) ›
By Graham Russell Gao Hodges
Trade Paper Price 16.99

Trade Paper, PDF, EPUB

Published Jan 2023

Anna May Wong remains one of Hollywood’s best-known Chinese American actors.
Between 1919 and 1960, Anna May Wong starred in over fifty movies, sharing billing with stars such as Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, Ramon Novarro, and Warner Oland. Her life, though, is the prototypical story of an immigrant’s difficult path through the prejudices of American culture.
Born in Los Angeles in 1905, she was the second daughter of seven children born to a laundryman and his wife. Childhood experience fueled her fascination with Hollywood. By 1919 she secured a small part in her first film, The Red Lantern, and she continued to act up until her death. Her most famous film roles were in The Toll of the Sea, Peter Pan, The Thief of Baghdad, Old San Francisco, and Shanghai Express.
But discrimination against Asians, in both in the film industry and society, was commonplace, and when it came time to make a film version of Pearl Buck’s The Good Earth, she was passed over for the Chinese female lead role, which was ultimately given to the white actor Luise Rainer.

In a narrative that recalls the pathos of life in Los Angeles’s Chinese neighborhoods and the glamour of Hollywood’s pleasure palaces, Graham Russell Gao Hodges recovers the life of a Hollywood legend.