September 24, 2021 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

WeHo Celebrates Asian American History Month

With Covid hate crimes on the rise against Asian Americans on the rise WeHo Reads 2021 season is Creating Hollywood Chinese, which will take place on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, at 6 p.m. 

The City of West Hollywood invites the community to celebrate literature and local authors with its WeHo Reads literary series. In safeguarding community health during the coronavirus pandemic, the Spring 2021 series will be presented virtually and streamed on the City of West Hollywood’s WeHo Arts YouTube channel.

The event will explore depictions of Chinese-Americans in Hollywood film and television and the history of discrimination faced by Asian Americans. It will feature a conversation between Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Arthur Dong, who is the recipient of two GLAAD Media Awards, the Paul Monette Award, and the OUT 100 Award from Out Magazine among other honors, and Charles Yu, the winner of the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction for his book Interior Chinatown.

Dong’s most recent book Hollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Feature Films is a chronicle of images based on more than 2,000 pieces of movie memorabilia the author collected from the time of his childhood and through the ten-year research for his Academy Award-nominated documentary Hollywood Chinese. 

The book won the Asian/Pacific American Literature Award, and has been selected a Critic’s Choice by Kenneth Turan at the Los Angeles Times and one of 13 Smart Must-Read Books on Race and Hate by The Advocate. His first published full-length book Forbidden City, USA: Chinatown Nightclubs, 1936-1970 included a foreword by best-selling author Lisa See and won the American Book Award, the Independent Publisher’s IPPY Award, and the Art Deco Historic Preservation Award. Dong is currently developing Grandview Films: Cinematic Crossings (working title), with Joseph Sunn Jue, which is his third in a trilogy of books that focus on the visual history and little-known stories of Chinese American artists.

Dong’s films about Chinese Americans include Hollywood Chinese, Forbidden City, U.S.A. and three earlier short films, Sewing Woman, Lotus, and Living Music for Golden Mountains, which comprise A Toisan Trilogy. Dong’s other films investigate anti-gay prejudice and include Family Fundamentals, Licensed to Kill, and Coming Out Under Fire, which were later re-released in the collection Stories from the War on Homosexuality.

Charles Yu is the author of the novels How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe and Interior Chinatown, as well as the short-story collections Third Class Superhero and Sorry Please Thank You. His book, Interior Chinatown, won the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction, and earned the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in both fiction and nonfiction. How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe was listed in Time magazine’s Top 10 Fiction Books of 2010, and The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2010. In 2007, Yu was named a “5 under 35” honoree by the National Book Foundation.

“WeHo Reads: Creating Hollywood Chinese” will be available to view on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 6 p.m. on the City of West Hollywood’s WeHo Arts YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/wehoarts). Members of the public can RSVP and be sent a direct link to view the event by visiting the WeHo Reads webpage at www.weho.org/wehoreads. Questions for the authors can be submitted via the event’s chat feature.

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