E–pub New [Delayed Rays of a Star] ´ Amanda Lee Koe
Should be glad I can still pee For her funeral she reuested that red and white carnations be distributed to those who attended A red carnation would be handed to those who slept with Dietrich and a white one to those who didn t She fantasized fistfights over You slept with her and I didn t These laugh out loud moments are written to perfection This reviewer googled an interview with Marlene s daughter and learned that this was indeed her mother s funeral wish Her mom would have been very disappointed if she knew it wasn t carried outThere is racism Despite being born in California and the daughter of parents who were themselves born here Wong was only offered badevil woman Chinese character roles She was never a lead character The Chinese were as furious with her as the Germans were of Dietrich A moving scene in the book happens when she is in China for a publicity tour Wong is criticized by a film critic for taking stereotypical roles She tries to xplain that as a non white in America life can be hard She fiercely fought for different roles She desperately wanted the lead role in the film The Good Earth The movie takes place in turn of the century China She thought she had it She was deep into preparation giving ideas and costume suggestions when she received a phone call informing her that the role went to a white actress The reason She was too ChineseThere is sexism Leni Riefenstahl was an accomplished filmmaker one of the first of female filmmakers of her generation Still she is Economies and Cultures easy not to like She received financial support from Hitler but after the fall of the Nazi regime claimed no knowledge of the Holocaust Koe paints her as willfully unknowing Leni is written in a way that one can almost understand where she is coming from Since she was a woman no one was willing to take her seriously as a director and back her films She took money where she could and concentrated on her art Like Anna May she was forced to take whatever she got in order to perform In 1993 there was a documentary made about her The Wonderful Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl Maybe this is why she is the only one of the three who gets anntire section in her own voiceKoe s debut novel shows that she is a master storyteller Clearly her talent comes from being a fellow of the International Writing Program of Iowa and a fiction Designing with Web Standards editor of Esuire Singapore as well as theditor of the National Museum of Singapore s film journal Delayed will appeal to a wide variety of readers Fans of historical fiction centering on women film buffs gossipy stories and those who Sadies Surrender (Oyster Harbor, enjoy WWII political novels that feel like nonfiction in other words for fans of all genresFind all my book reviews at An amazing read It was wonderful uite heavy for me A historical and biographical fiction Touches on the inner workings of movie making and the mixing of reality and fantasy There were many themes I liked the fight for control the changing relationships and the wayach character saw Structure Of The Nucleus each other I had difficult time getting through this book because it kind of heavy to me I just had to put it down for days but I finished it anyway BravoThe plot was okay and neat Easy to follow I don t know about the characters before it s just feels so good to knowach one of them throughout the book Thank you Pansing for sending me a copy of Delayed Rays of a Star in return for an honest review This book is available at all good bookstores Delayed Rays of a Star begins and First Anthology ends with a photograph of three actresses at a party in Berlin in 1928 Marlene Dietrich Anna May Wong and Leni Riefenstahl Ambitious in its scope and its attempt to render these famous personalities of thearly 20th century into relatable and flawed humans the novel moves back and forth between these three characters as they Releasing The Power Within Through Spiritual Dynamics each make their marks as independent women in a male dominated film industry and also wrestle with their respective demons Dietrich being labeled a traitor for renouncing her German citizenship to go to Hollywood during WWII Wong s predicament of being offered only roles that were stereotypes of Asian women yet also being deemed too Chinese to play a Chinese when auditioning for the one Hollywood film with an Asian lead Riefenstahl s close relationship with the Nazis leading to attacks on her and her work after the war I confess I did not know about any of them before reading the book but was inspired to watch Shanghai Express after finishing it and appreciated the scenes that Koe so lovingly describes as well as the butterfly lighting that made Marlene look like she d been dusted in gold foil I loved Koe sarlier collection Ministry of Moral Panic for its inventive twists on the people of the Singaporean heartland and the minor characters here showcase her skill B b a Chinese immigrant who serves as Dietrich s housekeeper as she lives out her last years Ibrahim a poetry loving Turkish German who forms a bond with B b and Hans Haas the best boy on Riefenstahl s crew for Tiefland who struggles with finding his own voice The cast becomes a little crowded with the added cameos of Walter Benjamin JFK Marlon Brando and Hitler among others I felt that the large Passage Through Crisis ensemble of characters prevented me from deeply identifying with any one of them too closely Howeverach character and the Science, Technology and Culture events they feature in are carefully crafted and seuenced in a complex web of space and time that illustrates the conflicting ideas and tensionsach individual faces juxtaposed against the march of historyIf there is one common thread that runs through the book it is how we construct and dit the images and identities that we choose to see and that are projected to the world As Anna May says in response to a Chinese critic An actress authenticity is not in her life it is in her performance This is most memorable in how Leni s devotion to her artistic vision while filming Tiefland is also a way of survival by ignoring the atrocities of the Nazi death camps nearby she could not show that troubled face to the crewif one person broke down to ask why they were making an alpine movie about a shepherd and a dancer when the world around them had gone mad verything would turn to dust they would all be back in the city ueueing for rations and cowering in bunkers That must not happen Koe paints Black Boy everyone in believable shades of grey such that a reader couldmpathise with Nighttime Sweethearts even Riefenstahl who directed two of the mostffective Nazi propaganda films ver madeThe title of the book is taken from a passage from Barthes Camera Lucida the photograph of the missing being as Sontag says will touch me like the delayed rays of a star Just like how the characters calibrate their images to transcend their realities and regain their agency so does Koe revise and mbellish history shaping the rays of these bygone luminaries of film so that they continue to ask uestions that still resonate today I can t believe how much I loved this book. Econdary players a Chinese immigrant housemaid a German soldier on leave from North Africa a pompous Hollywood director whose voices and viewpoints reveal the legacy Safe in My Arms each woman left in her own time as well as in ours Amanda Lee Koe's playful wry prose guides the reader dexterously around murky uestions ofgo persona complicity desire and difference Intimate and raw DELAYED RAYS OF A STAR is a visceral depiction of womanhood its particular hungers its calculations and its ventual betrayals and announces a bold new literary voice.
In 1928 a photograph was taken of Anna May Wong Marlene Dietrich and Leni Riefenstahl at a party at Weimar Berlin Amanda Lee Koe uses this photograph as the basis for her debut novel Delayed Rays of a Star In the novel we follow the lives of these three women over the course of the 20th century I have read Dietrich s biography a Before reviewing Amanda Lee Koe s actual writing it must be noted that the Doubleday hardcover dition of Delayed Rays Of A Star is physically a work of art in bookmaking The dust jacket features some beautiful design work by a Michael J Windsor that perfectly incorporates design aesthetics of the classical Hollywood Poisoned Secrets (Murder and Mayhem era and contemporary typography The interior of the book also features the same careful attention to aesthetic detail from numbering Anna May Wong s chapters with Chinese letters to choosing appropriate Hollywoodsue fonts to Safe Words even designing small individualizedmblems that serve sort of as a historatied initial to signify and designate His To Claim (McBain Brothers Alpha, each of the three main character s chapters Theffort put into assembling the physical copy of this novel is marvelous and serves as an The Black Sheeps Baby (Into The Heartland) (Into The Heartland) (Silhouette Intimate Moments, excellent reminder that as much as I appreciate the convenience of readers there s nothing like holding a physically beautiful bookUnfortunately I wasn t at first nearly as nthralled by Amanda Lee Koe s actual writing The pitch for Delayed Rays of A Star s plot reads like something I would absolutely love considering I have a degree in Film Studies and am an Taiwanese American A historical fiction novel written by an Asian author about two classic Hollywood actresses one of whom is Chinese and has to struggle against racism and a famously controversial film director sounded like verything I wanted in book unfortunately I nearly gave up on Delayed Rays of A Star after the first few chapters One immediate reason is that there simply wasn t Dangerous to Touch enough of the narrative actually concerned about film or film history until Leni Riefenstahl s first chapter After that the narrative picked up and began actually delving into interesting historical tidbits of film history surrounded its three protagonists instead of over detailing Marlene Dietrich s sexualxploitsAnother reason is a common problem with most novels that deal with multiple main protagonists It is Once Upon a Seduction (Its All About Attitude easy to be interested in one protagonists over the others In the case of Delayed Rays of A Star I struggled through the first two Marlene Dietrich chapters If it weren t for the story of the Chinese immigrant housemaid character intertwined into the narrative I would have dropped the book before reaching Anna May Wong s first chapter As a side note Amanda Lee Koe s treatment of the issue of human trafficking in Dietrich s chapters was oddly subdued which also slightly bothered me The chapters were well written and writing from the perspective of an aged Dietrich was a great choice but unnecessary and misplaced sex scenes littered herarly chapters and the latter chapters were just a bit slow It s not Rodeo Daughter even that the sex scene weren t well written they just felt misplaced Perhaps I just disliked Koe s depiction of Dietrich considering that Koe has actually been complimented on her ability to write sex scenes well in an interview that she gave where she actually speaks of how Marlene Dietrich s sexuality brought her freedom inxpressing and writing of her own sexuality Koe s speaking in that article says Sex in fiction is a powerful liminal space because of the fact that we can simultaneously convey the interiority of characters while they are in a state of physical My Guilty Pleasure (Harlequin Blaze ecstasy How cool would it be it during sex you could have a USB cable into your partner s brain see what someone is seeing when they reach a point at which thought is impossible and sensation is heightened A writer should make sparing but full use of this medium specific privilege thatxists only on the page films don t afford the same interiority In the case of Delayed Rays of A Star Koe has definitely made full use of the medium specific privilege of writing visceral sex scenes but her own advice on the use of it sparingly arguably hasn t been heeded Dietrich s sexual Fatal Secrets (Protecting the Witnesses exploits are well recorded in the annals of film history but what wend up with in Delayed Rays of A Star is a caricature instead of a fully developed character and ultimately a missed opportunity to A Wanted Man (Silhouette Intimate Moments, explore deeper into the person of Marlene Dietrich The irony of course is that just as Hollywood typecast Dietrich as a femme fatale Amanda Lee Koe with Dietrich reduced her to being defined by the sole attributes of being a sexual predator megalomaniac and a nymphomaniac Thankfully Koe does better with Anna May Wong s character and significantly better with Leni RiefenstahlAll of Anna May Wong s chapters and Leni Riefenstahl s chapters for me personally were considerably better and interesting then the Marlene Dietrich s chapters Riefenstahl s chapters read in the way Ixpected the whole novel to read and were the highlight of the novel despite their perhaps revisionist history The Riefenstahl chapters were a perfect mix of film history technical film My Spy (Mission: Impassioned, elements the struggles of being a female director the complexities of filmmaking in Nazi Germany andtc Her chapters made the novel a worthwhile read and I m glad I stuck with the novel for her chapters Until You Loved Me (Silver Springs, especially her final first person chapter the only first person chapter in the whole book With that all said Delayed Rays of A Star is an impressive debut and demonstrates that Amanda Lee Koe clearly has a firm grasp on the technical aspects of writing and storytelling necessary to be an incredible author She has also definitely done her research and knows her film history I was surprisedven to see one of my favorite directors Hou Hsiao Hsien get a nod in the novel for his film Daughter Of The Nile She is most definitely an author to watch and I will definitely keep an The Baby Album eye out for her future works Delayed Rays of Star missed the mark a little bit at the beginning but ultimately it grew to be an interesting worthwhile read that I m glad I stuck with until thendI debated between giving this a 3 or a 4 for a long time I ultimately settled on a 3 but really it s a 35 and would be a 4 for another readerI received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway and thank Doubleday for the advanced copy this is a modern masterpiece pls run not walk to get your copy it is about three film icons dietrich wong and liefenstahl but I think the true gems in this book are the unknown stories of the supporting cast whose lives are marked by the three stars the prose is dense but never clunky This is an intricate and intelligent novel definitely the best one I ve read this year Five stars for the impressive Secret Agent Minister and Deadly Texas Rose execution of this ambitiouspic novel and for the Why Not Tonight (Happily Inc., excellent beautiful writing But I docked a star based on my personal readingxperience it s uite a heavy and dense read such that sometimes A dazzling novel following the lives of three groundbreaking women Marlene Dietrich Anna May Wong and Leni Riefenstahl cinema legends who lit up the twentieth centuryAt a chance ncounter at a Berlin soirée in 1928 the photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt captures three very different women together in one frame up and coming German actress Marlene Dietrich who would wend her way into Hollywood as one of its lasting icons; Anna May Wong the world's first Chinese American star playing for bit parts while dreaming of breaking away from her fat.
Had trouble getting back into the story after putting it down for a while I also don t really like stories that remove uotation marks from the dialogue because it can get hard to differentiate dialogue from normal narration and I just don t get the purpose Is it just a fancy and uirky stylistic choiceThe novel opens in the 1920s at a party in Berlin where three actresses Anna May Wong Marlene Dietrich and Leni Riefenstahl met for the first time and pose for a photograph together Yup the novel is a historical fiction with real life famous people as its characters There s ven the two photographs of the three women taken at the party inserted into the book The reader then follows the three women s lives in the subseuent decades as they advance their acting and also for Leni directing careers against the chaotic rise and fall of the Nazi regime The story is divided into three major segments which are individually split up into three mini segments Welcome Home, Cowboy (Wed In The West, each taking turns to focus on one of the women Withinach mini segment are a number of chapters that really feel like short stories because of the way they jump to whole new situations and often Snowbound Bride (Harlequin Men in Uniform Miniseries) even a different character as the chapter s focus There are lots of side characters such as Marlene s Chinese maid and the lighting staff on Leni s film production team and they are vividly developed too I actually think some of the most memorable chapters come from the side charactersAnna May Marlene and Leni turn into strong memorable characters too I knew pretty much nothing about all of them I ll admit it I d neverven heard of Marlene and Leni before this novel so getting to know their lives and legacy was fascinating to me I restrained myself from googling them so I can get to know them from this novel but after finishing it I did google them and I m intrigued to see how closely the novel follows their real lives However I was Cowboys Baby (Ranching Family, expecting connections between the three of them and their stories but only Anna May and Marlene were really inach other s lives after they met at the party So it felt disjointed reading the three women s chapters together They shared a common socio political context and themes about art being a female artist and fame but still I had to re orientate myself a bit when I move between the mini segmentsLeni s chapters were also the heaviest and the tone was uite different from Anna May s and Marlene s although Anna May s chapters also dealt with racism in Between the Land and the Sea (Marinas Tales, early 20th century America and the struggle to find home for the Asian American diaspora Leni s chapters are very heavy because they go uite deep into the political climate of Nazi Germany with Hitler and Joseph Goebbels both making appearances andven getting dialogue Leni was also a controversial director of Nazi propaganda films and this novel Gilligan Unbound explores how aware and intentional she was in creating Nazi propaganda raising uestions about whether we can and should separate art from politics and art from the artist It s very bold of the author to tackle such controversial and complex issues in real history approaching them from different perspectives and she has the skill and is knowledgeable about them to do so with sensitivity Even though the writing is a bit dense I was veryngaged in the story most of the time and I really cared and felt for the charactersAmanda Lee Koe is definitely one of my favourite Singapore authors now along with Balli Kaur Jaswal I d only Gone for Soldiers ever read one of her short stories from her award winning collection Ministry of Moral Panic but I could tell her writing is really good and this her first novel shows itven She s so smart I d feel intimidated if I Hotshot P.I. ever meet her in real lifeThank you to Pansing for sending me copy of the novel inxchange for an honest review Men would mouth off without thinking twice about who they were crossing Never having to fight for anything made them complacent and impulsiveI have been trying to articulate why I love this book for the past 5 months now and I don t think I still can do it Because Delayed Rays Of A Star is one of those one of Amanda Lee Koe s inspiration for this ambitious novel was a single photograph taken by famed photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt at a party in Berlin in 1928 The picture is of filmmakeractress Leni Riefenstahl Hollywood actress Anna May Wong and Marlene Dietrich Koe takes us to this party and uses that as her jumping off point for stories that read like memoirs from Mean Girls each woman s point of viewTo get into the head ofach woman is fascinating Anna May Wong growing up in Los Angeles was Moonlight and Mistletoe (Harlequin Historical, enthralled with the movies While she became a successful actress Hollywood cast he Genre Historical FictionPublisher Doubleday BooksPublication Date July 9 2019Spanning the 1920s to 2003 this sprawling novel isxpertly woven with characters that are powerfully alive Koe s novel was inspired by a 1928 photograph taken in Berlin of then up and coming real life actresses Marlene Dietrich Anna May Wong and Leni Riefenstahl at a party in Berlin For those who don t know these film icons Marlene Dietrich was a gender bending German actress who was one of the highest paid Hollywood stars in her day Anna May Wong was the first Chinese American actress to achieve international acclaim Leni Riefenstahl was an actress turned director of Nazi propaganda films as well as nonpolitical filmsThere are two moving secondary characters in the novel There is a Chinese maid who was a onetime sex trafficked prostitute She now takes care of an old and difficult reclusive woman who happens to be Marlene Dietrich And there is a gay German soldier who had worked in films before the war He was recruited off the battlefield to be a film crew member with Riefenstahl He is mourning the lover he watched die in battle Through his character one gets glimpses of the average young German soldier s thoughts during the war Not at all different than from those they were fighting Please God let me live through this warWhy am I crawling in the mud when the bigwigs that started the war are safely sitting at home Both characters are written in a way that will break your heart without being saccharineThe ambiguous novel takes on many subjectsThere is sexuality Marlene Dietrich s public image included openly defying sexual norms She was known for her androgynous dressing fashion sense Dietrich was the Hollywood legend who made being ueer acceptable Duty to Protect even downright sexy Men and women both drooled over her and she famously bedded both How she got away with this in that period of time is uite a feat Perhaps it was her narcissist personality traits that helped her pull it off Still while America adored her Germany was angry and disowned her Marlene remained Marlene until thend of her life The author writes a scene of her maid holding her nose while cleaning an antiue Limoges pitcher the 88 year old uses as a bedpan In her famous throaty voice she hollers at the maid Everyone. Her's modest laundry; and Leni Riefenstahl whose work as a director would first make her famous then infamous From this curious point of intersection DELAYED RAYS OF A STAR lets loose the trajectories of these women's lives From Weimar Berlin to LA's Chinatown from a seaside resort in East Germany to a luxury apartment on the Champs Elysées the different settings they inhabit are as richly textured as the roles they play siren muse predator or lover The Surprise Triplets (Safe Harbor Medical each one a carefully calibrated performance And in the orbit ofach star live
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E–pub New Delayed Rays of a Star ´ Amanda Lee Koe
Ministry of Moral Panic Epigram Books 2013 which was also shortlisted for the Haus der Kulturen der Welt's Internationaler Literaturpreis and the Frankfurt Book Fair's LiBeraturpreisThe working manuscript for her first novel