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Earl Derr Biggers
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Author
    (August 26, 1884-April 5, 1933)
    Born in Warren, Ohio
    Novelist and playwright
    Best known for his detective stories featuring Charlie Chan (1925-32)
    He was fired as drama critic for the Boston Traveler after his blunt reviews upset too many people.
    He complained, ‘I don’t want to find myself in a position where the public won’t accept anything but a Chan story for me.’
    However, while he was preparing to write a non-Chan novel, the stock market crashed and he decided to stick with a proven success.
    Chan’s idiomatic grammar and fondness for pseudo-Confucian aphorisms (‘Story are now completely extracted like aching tooth’) have not aged well.
    He intended Charlie Chan to be an alternative to ‘Yellow Peril’ stereotypes.
    He said, ‘I had seen movies depicting and read stories about Chinatown and wicked Chinese villains, and it struck me that a Chinese hero – trustworthy, benevolent and philosophical – would come nearer to presenting a correct portrayal of the race.’
    Chan was called ‘the most appealing supersleuth since Sherlock Holmes.’

Credit: C. Fishel


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