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Not Your China Doll

Not Your China Doll

The Wild and Shimmering Life of Anna May Wong

Katie Gee Salisbury
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Set against the glittering backdrop of Los Angeles in the gin-soaked Jazz Age and the rise of Hollywood, this debut book celebrates Anna May Wong, the first Asian American movie star, to bring an unsung heroine to light to reclaim her place in cinema history.

Before Constance Wu, Sandra Oh, Awkwafina, or Lucy Liu, there was Anna May Wong. In her time, she was a glamorous starlet, flapper, and fashion icon who graced Oscar-winning films and who was mobbed by clamoring fans and the adoring press both here and abroad.

Anna May Wong was plucked from her family’s Chinatown laundry business in Los Angeles and rose to stardom in some of classic Hollywood’s biggest films. When she tired of Hollywood stereotyping, she headed abroad in protest. She found international fame starring in films across London, Paris, and Berlin, and returned to find Hollywood on bended knee, offering a three-picture studio contract. She used her new stature to move away from her typecasting as the China doll or dragon lady, and she worked to reshape Asian American representation in film.

Filled with stories of capricious directors and admiring costars, glamorous parties and far flung love affairs, Not Your China Doll showcases the sparkling, revolutionary life of a groundbreaking artist.

Katie Gee Salisbury has spoken and written about Anna May Wong on MSNBC, in the New York Times and in Vanity Fair. She also writes the newsletter Half-Caste Woman. She was a 2021 Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship finalist and gave the TED Talk “As American as Chop Suey.” A fifth-generation Chinese American from Southern California, she now lives in Brooklyn. This is her first book.

  • Publisher: Dutton (March 12, 2024)
  • Language: English
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0593183983
  • ISBN-13: 9780593183984
  • Item Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Dimensions: 6 x 1.19 x 9 inches
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