The Fortune Cookie Chronicles

  • #26 on the New York Times Best Seller List
    and featured on The Colbert Report, Martha Stewart,, CNN, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Charlie Rose Tomorrow, Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly, and NPR stations coast to coast. Also selected for Borders Original Voices and Book Sense. Follow me on Twitter! Fan me on Facebook.

  • Archive for April, 2008

    « Previous Entries, for Chinese people.

    Monday, April 28th, 2008

    This is awesome (though it’s in Chinese):, a Google maps mashup of Chinese restaurants that Chinese people want to eat at across the country, with ratings.

    @ LATimes Festival of Books

    Sunday, April 27th, 2008

    Speaking on a panel at the LATimes book fair called Eat This Book with Fred Kaufman and Raj Patel at 1 p.m. Sunday in Moore 100. The moderator is Barry Glassner. It is gargantuan book fair, basically taking over the entire UCLA campus.

    Hull House: Where Eleanor Roosevelt, Upton Sinclair, W.E.B. Dubois have all tread

    Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

    Last week I got to speak in the Dining Hall of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum in Chicago (at the invitation of Lisa Yun Lee). This was a room that W.E.B  Dubois, Ida B. Wells, Upton Sinclair, Gertrude Stein, Eleanor Roosevelt, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Carl Sandburg have all spoken in. Very historic. So it was […]

    Boston Globe: “revelations come fast and frequent”

    Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

    Wow. They are still running reviews of my book(!). The Boston Globe today printed its review by Ralph Ranalli. Interesting that he is astute to point out that Chinese food has “a veritable buffet of cheap metaphors” (I will note many of which have been used by headine writers (egg drop scoop, lo mein street, […]

    Largehearted Boy: A soundtrack for Fortune Cookie Chronicles

    Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

    I was invited by David Gutowski to participate in his Book Notes series on the music&lit blog, Largehearted Boy (note the cute logo someone designed for him!) And amazingly he has compiled the most comprehensive list ever of my reviews and interviews. So when he first invited me after hearing about his book, I checked […]

    Food Network: Online interview with the Amateur Gourment

    Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

    Here is an episode of FN Dish, the Food Network’s edgier online cousin, hosted by Adam Roberts of the Amateur Gourmet. Adam and I went to New York City’s Chinatown and eat my favorite buffet place on Grand Street between Chrystie and Bowery: $4 for five items! He tried pigs heart (his Jewish grandmother rolling […]

    Tibetan fortune cookies? (well…divination dough balls)

    Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

    Nate Barksdale remembered of his Let’s Go India researchers wrote in his report on Dharamsala back in 1998 — to wit, that one of the Dalai Lama’s lesser-known tools of statecraft involves choosing between balls of dough that had little notes hidden inside. (fortune cookie-ish yes?) There’s even an explanation from the Tibetan government-in-exile: Varieties […]

    So what kind of jerky is this.

    Monday, April 21st, 2008

    This is a picture of some kind of jerky in a Guangzhou market by a photographer named Charlie Grosso (“a Chinese American woman with a male Italian name” or as she put it in her offer to buy me a drink in Los Angeles “I am a Chinese girl much like yourself so this is […]

    Mao, made out of hundreds of fortune cookies

    Monday, April 21st, 2008

    Benjamin Wallace (author of the forthcoming book The Billionaire’s Vinegar) passed me this amazing artwork by Robert Deckey (his artist brother-in-law who apparently doesn’t have a Web site that I can dig out) — a portrait of Mao Zedong made out of hundreds of fortune cookies. Here is some promotional information from his 2007 collection. […]

    Madison Square Park (not Garden), Thursday July 17 @ 6:30 p.m.

    Monday, April 21st, 2008

    Just confirmed this new talk: I’ll be presenting the The Fortune Cookie Chronicles for 20-25 minutes as part of the Madison Square Reads outdoor program in Madison Square Park (5th Avenue and 23rd Street in Manhattan) on Thursday, July 17, at 6:30 p.m. The program, which will last 60 minutes, features two authors of books […]

    What I eat…

    Sunday, April 20th, 2008

    A profile/interview of me on Midtown Lunch, which is a fun food blog. (Have I posted this before? This was in draft mode and I’m not sure why) In it, I discuss the places I like to eat in midtown, and also explain why Dubai’s food scene is awesome.

    This is the Chinese restaurant story about waizhou that started it all

    Sunday, April 20th, 2008

    Sometimes people ask how it came to be that I would write a story on Chinese restaurants. The story actually starts two years before the book with a story I did for the New York Times, published in January 2003, on a Fuzhounese immigrant family that travelled from New York City to rural Georgia to […]

    Fortune cookie presents, some of them actually made in China

    Saturday, April 19th, 2008

    Many people have sent me fortune-cookie themed presents and cards to congratulate me on the book. Here are some of them pictured here. (I especially like the jewelish-encrusted one). Some of them were even engraved. All came with a special fortune inside What amused me. Fortune cookies made not be made in China. But fortune […]

    Spices of Life, Nina and Myers and Chang

    Saturday, April 19th, 2008

    Nina Simonds did an interview with me for a segment on Spices of Life. She introduced me to a Chinese/Asian-ish restaurant, Myers and Chang (named for the couple who started it) in the South End. It’s very funky. Here are some reviews from Yelp.

    Harvard Crimson: Q&A on The Fortune Cookie Chronicles

    Saturday, April 19th, 2008

    Jessica Henderson does a Q&A with me for The Harvard Crimson arts section. I remember she recorded the whole thing on her laptop with her freeware, and was very impressed. Every so often we’d have to startle the computer to make sure it didn’t go to sleep.

    WNYC Brian Lehrer Show

    Friday, April 18th, 2008

    I did a lovely interview on Brian Lehrer (scroll down for mp3…no permalink?) on Wednesday, right before the Asia Society talk with the Fuchsia Dunlop of Chinese cookery fine.

    A literary ethnic combo deal at Columbia

    Thursday, April 17th, 2008

    I did a presentation at Columbia with my friend Sugi, whose new novel, Love Marriage about the many generations of a Sri Lankan family was published by Random House last week. The logic of the pairing was  somewhat tenuous: we both wrote books, our parents were from the great continent of Asia, and we knew […]

    Squat Magazine Q&A, at a Vietnamese restaurant in New York’s Koreantown

    Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

    An interview with Shereen Low for Squat Magazine, which is an online publication focusing on Chinese-themes largely read in the UK. We did the interview after the Asian American Writers Workshop reading in mid-March. It was us two Chinese-ish girls and three South Asian girls at a Vietnamese restaurant in Koreatown. Very pan-A.

    Audrey Magazine Profile: I collect toothpaste from around the world

    Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

    Elisa Mala wrote a nice two-page profile in Audrey Magazine [pdf] in which she interviewed my parents and numerous friends (Nolan, Sugi, Alexis) at the book party. It has a lot of detail about my family actually, and my siblings. And it mentions my hobby of collecting usual toothpaste flavors from around the world. (Coca […]

    Dim sum tasting event at the Asia Society for blog readers

    Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

    I’m speaking at the Asia Society tomorrow with Fuchsia Dunlop, a great Chinese cuisine chef, on Chinese food.:6:30 p.m., April 16, at the Asia Society at 70th and Park. So afterwards there is a dim sum tasting catered by the trendy Chinatown Brasserie. Since I am a speaker I have complimentary tickets (normally $15 for […]

    Is Chink’s Steak an un-PC name?

    Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

    Keith Richburg has an article today in The Washington Post about how Asian American groups are trying to lobby to get the name of a Philadelphia eatery changed from Chink’s steak because of its derogatory connotations. It was the nickname of a man because he had slanted eyes. If it had been called “chink” for […]

    Why does television always want to film people walking?

    Saturday, April 12th, 2008

    I taped another television segment today, though this one is not intended for an American audience, and strictly speaking, may actually be banned from within our borders. Suffice it to stay, The Fortune Cookie Chronicles may be immortalized as part of U.S. propaganda. Anyway, we did (yet another) shot of me walking. Television people always […]

    Stuff Gay People Like

    Saturday, April 12th, 2008

    My friend Geoff Upton sent out a birthday invite for his party, called Stuff Gay People like, a play on Stuff White People Like. Come help me belatedly celebrate my 31st birthday with a celebration of Stuff Gay People (okay, Gay Men) Like: 8. Dance mixes of pop hits.Gay people love it when DJs remix […]

    Fortune Cookie Chronicles quoted on Chop Suey in the New Yorker Online

    Saturday, April 12th, 2008

    A few people had passed me this little item by Andrea Thompson that ran on the New Yorker’s web site on chop suey a few weeks ago, where my book is mentioned and quoted. Exciting. Born in the U.S.A. In this week’s Tables for Two, Ligaya Mishan reviews Chop Suey, whose tongue-in-cheek name has little […]

    Fortune Cookie Chronicles on CNN with Lola Ogunnaike (and a Jack-o-Melon).

    Saturday, April 12th, 2008

    CNN ran a segment on Chinese food in America by my former colleague Lola Ogunnaike. Produced by the lovely Ethel Bass. We actually filmed at an Empire Szechuan, a descendent of the original restaurant that sparked the delivery revolution. I asked Lola what was different from print and television, and one of the things is […]

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