Henry Chang And Year Of The Dog

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Caught this article down at the NYT on author Henry Chang (Chinatown Beat), his thoughts on what he wants readers to know about Chinatown, and his new book Year Of The Dog:

As far as I know, there’s never been a Chinese cop as the head of a detective series. Somebody said, “Henry Chang is the Dashiell Hammett of Chinatown.” I got a kick out of that. But the books are less conventional mysteries than studies in Chinese-American culture.

I tried to make the atmosphere as real as possible by including places like the street of funeral parlors, on Mulberry Street. There’s a character named Ah Por — she’s a fortune teller that Jack consults. There are a bunch of them down here, and they sit at Columbus Park.

There’s a bookie in “Year of the Dog” named Sai Go. I based him on the guys who hang out at the OTB on Chatham Square. Another character, Bo, a haircutter, is paying off the snakeheads that brought her here illegally. I’m adding a depth and humanity to the people down here.
Definitely put this on my list of books to read (well...you know what I mean).

Check more out here.