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The Worm Hole Podcast Episode 21: Peter Ho Davies (The Welsh Girl; The Fortunes)

Charlie and Peter Ho Davies (The Welsh Girl; The Fortunes) discuss moving as a writer from Britain to the US, Welsh with English as a second language, the first Chinese Americans, Hollywood star Anna May Wong, and the impact – then and now – of the murder of Vincent Chin.

Information about the Brighton Pavillion chinoiserie panels
Wikipedia’s article on The Thief of Bagdad
Wikipedia’s article on Shanghai Express
Anna May Wong documentary footage (what Peter used in his story)
A section from the ‘Who Killed Vincent Chin’ 1987 documentary
A selection of clips from ‘Who Is Vincent Chin’
Annie Tan and Helen Zia (maker of the ’87 documentary) discuss Vincent’s importance to Asian Americans
Vincent Chin trial reenactment

Release details: recorded 7th August 2020; published 24th August 2020

Peter’s social media: Website

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Show notes:

Question Index
Book Purchasing Links
Photo Credit Line

Question Index

00:50 Tell us about your background, your journey to publication
02:06 What courses do you teach?
06:09 Tell us about The Ugliest House In The World and Equal Love
15:32 What was it like writing the sentence beginning ‘But the lights came up’ (wherein an investigator for the allies considers whether he might not have joined the Nazis)?
16:45 Who was the most important character in The Welsh Girl to write about?
18:55 What led you to write about the D-Day period?
22:32 In The Welsh Girl, English is a second language – how far was this the case in reality?
24:15 (On the context of the Welsh concept of ‘cynefin’)
25:49 (The Fortunes – Peter talks about the novellas and short stories in the context of the format)
28:01 Why did Chinese people (first) emigrate to America?
30:49 When did things improve for the first Chinese women in America?
31:51 How widespread was chinoiserie and did people ever turn to real Chinese decorations?
36:51 Can you give us a brief overview of Anna May Wong’s journey in the film industry?
42:31 Is Vincent Chin’s story well known in America?
45:32 (Peter talks about John’s character – fact and fiction – from the fourth story in The Fortunes)
49:22 Is there any significance to Zhen and Jia, names mentioned together in three of the stories?
54:28 Tell us about your next book

Purchasing Links
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Coming soon

Photograph used with permission from the author.


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