Episode 167: Anna May Wong
Guest: Yunte Huang
Sunday, October 15, 2023
This week on History Happy Hour: The story of Anna May Wong, a Chinese American movie-star who battled racism and sexism as she emerged from turn-of-the-century Los Angeles to become Old Hollywood’s most famous Chinese American actress.
Chris and Rick welcome Yunte Huang, author of Daughter of the Dragon: Anna May Wong’s Rendezvous with American History. The remarkable and sometimes tragic story of a screen siren who captivated global audiences and signed her publicity photos—with a touch of defiance—“Orientally yours.”
Yunte Huang grew up in a small town in China, where he began to learn English by secretly listening to Voice of America programs on a battered transistor radio. He came to the United States in 1991, and as a struggling Chinese restaurateur in the Deep South, continued to study American literature, reading William Faulkner, Ezra Pound, and Emily Dickinson on the greasy kitchen floor. After receiving his Ph.D. in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo, Yunte taught as an assistant professor of English at Harvard University from 1999 to 2003. A Guggenheim Fellow, Yunte is currently a professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara.