Has a Stockton woman inspired a book?

Jadin Wong at Forbidden City

Funny thing. right around the time I wrote about “Forbidden City, U.S.A., Chinese American Nightclubs, 1936-70,” and one of the big stars of Forbidden City nightclub, Stockton’s Jadin Wong, out came a book called “China Doll.”

Here’s a description of the story from author Lisa See’s website:

“It’s 1938 in San Francisco: a world’s fair is preparing to open on Treasure Island, a war is brewing overseas, and the city is alive with possibilities. Grace, Helen, and Ruby, three young women from very different backgrounds, meet by chance at the exclusive and glamorous Forbidden City nightclub. Grace Lee, an American-born Chinese girl, has fled the Midwest with nothing but heartache, talent, and a pair of dancing shoes. Helen Fong lives with her extended family in Chinatown, where her traditional parents insist that she guard her reputation like a piece of jade. The stunning Ruby Tom challenges the boundaries of convention at every turn with her defiant attitude and no-holds-barred ambition.”

It’s unclear whether the author based a character on Stockton’s Jadin Wong. But she’s writing about the club at which Wong worked, right at the time she worked there, and describes a character that has Wong written all over it. So it’s a distinct possibility. 
I ought to ask the author.

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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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