Oland: New book by Kim Khavar Fahlstedt

On April 24, film and media studies scholar Kim Khavar publishes a book on Warner Oland, Sweden’s forgotten Hollywood star. The book tells the story of how, having emigrated from Västerbotten to New England as a young boy in the 1890s, Oland came of age as cinema emerged and became America’s favorite form of entertainment. Despite lofty ambitions as a serious theatre actor, Oland found himself repeatedly cast as oriental villains in the lucrative moving picture industry. By the twilight 1920s, Oland had become Hollywood’s most well-known “film oriental”, famously appearing in roles both as super villain Fu Manchu and the master detective Charlie Chan. The name Warner Oland was known around the world, yet his public persona was built around a mystery: where did he actually come from?

In Oland, film scholar Kim Khavar Fahlstedt presents the first biography of Swedish-American movie star Warner Oland. Drawing on a decade of archival research and interviews, this study delves into Oland’s captivating life story and explores Hollywood’s constructions of race and shifting transcultural receptions of cinematic stereotypes.

The book is written in Swedish and is published by Appell Förlag on April 24. Link to the publisher: https://appellforlag.se/bok/oland/#

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