The Fortune Cookie Chronicles

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    It’s like, he showed up in my apartment and wanted to talk about my couch

    By Jennifer 8. Lee | October 31, 2007

    A few nights ago, I had dinner with my friend Seth, who had a copy of the galley and was reading it. He wasn’t inherently interested in Chinese food a a topic, yet he was drawn in by the book and could see people telling each other to read it (I was trying to figure out if I was flattered or offended by the fact he wasn’t interested in Chinese food but was reading the book).

    Then he started talking about the merits of various choices I had made in writing specific sections of the book. It felt disconcerting discussing it with him. Because it wasn’t just like “Oh, I like the book!” which I get a lot. He wanted to dissect it a bit. It took me a while before I could put my finger on it.

    For about three years, it has been basically me and this book, just the two of us (Jon Karp jumped in at the end, and he is my editor). But, it’s been a very private relationship and there are personal elements of me strewn throughout this book (as opposed to the newspaper articles I write, which are very arms length). Now suddenly, someone else not involved in the creative process was in our (the book and my)  space (Seth). It was like he had showed up in my living room or something, and had opinions on my choice of my couch (To be fair, I was crashing at his place, and we spent a lot of time discussing furniture he was planning to buy. Turns out he’s a Crate and Barrel kind of guy, though he really fell for this bed I showed him from Environment Furniture).

    It explained my reaction to him. He told me, “Um, I hate to tell you this, but your book is about to be published, to the public.” It seems silly to say this, but that is a really strange thought to me.

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