Enter the Forbidden City

Forbidden City chorus girls backstage

Soft Film has been writing quite a bit about Trina Robbins’ new book Forbidden City: The Golden Age of Chinese Nightclubs recently and sharing some of the fantastic photographs and ephemera from the book (and from his own collection).

Presented as an oral history, the book records the recollections of nearly two dozen Asian American performers who worked in San Francisco’s “all-Chinese” revues from the late 1930s through the 60s. The transcribed interviews of the artists, and their friends and relatives, paint an intimate portrait of this unique cultural scene.

All these blog posts have certainly whet my appetite for Forbidden City and I hope that it becomes available in the UK.

By the way, I wonder what the chorus girl in red is knitting? Maybe something like this?


2 thoughts on “Enter the Forbidden City

  1. Thanks for the link! Trina’s book is definitely worth picking up. You can get it from Amazon USA. I’ve ordered before from Amazon UK (and Germany and France too), and the shipping wasn’t outrageous. I’m sure it would be just as easy and cheap ordering in the opposite direction.

    Nice to see an overlap between the knitting and burlesque scenes. 🙂

    • I’m going to see if I can order it through a bookshop and get them to absorb the shipping fee!

      I once modelled a knitted vintage swimsuit but there was no dancing involved.

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