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A History of Detective Stories: Asian Detectives

In the many literary magazines of the 1920s and 1930s, detective fiction was extremely popular, and numerous subgenres emerged. One of the most prolific was the Asian detective story, which was first popularized by Earl Derr Biggers through the Charlie Chan character. The portrayals of Asian characters in the various Asian detective stories have become a major source of controversy today, preventing the works from enduring the decades as readily as the earlier Holmes and Dupin stories. Yet the films and stories based around these characters are a fascinating time capsule of early 20th-century American racial characterizations and attitudes.
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