Author: Jennifer 8. Lee
Jennifer 8. Lee was a reporter at The New York Times for nine years. She harbors a deep obsession for Chinese food, the product of which is The Fortune Cookie Chronicles (Twelve, 2008), which explores how Chinese food is all-American.
At the Times, she wrote about poverty, the environment, crime, politics, and technology. She has been called, by NPR, a “conceptual scoop artist.” One of her better known articles introduced the concept of “man dates”. She also picked up on the fastest growing baby name in the history of America.
She was born and raised in New York City, attending Hunter College Elementary School and Hunter College High School for a total of 14 years. She majored in applied math and economics at Harvard, where she also angsted a lot about The Harvard Crimson, a fabulous start-up magazine called Diversity & Distinction, and the Asian American Association. After college, she fled to China and spent a year at Beijing University studying international relations.
Her parents are from the tiny island off the coast of China variously called Quemoy, Kinmen, or Jinmen.
She has a younger sister named Frances (foreign exchange programmer) and a younger brother named Kenneth (actuary). If you string their first initials together, it spells JFK, which their parents tease is the airport they landed at when they first came to the United States. (though currently, JFK is her least favorite of the NYC airports).
She has a purple stuffed hippo named Hubba Bubba who travels the world with her. She used to know how to solve a Rubiks Cube, though is a bit rusty now. And she has always harbored fantasies of being a fortune cookie message scribe. She lives in Harlem (about four blocks away from her parents). She makes great turkey fried dumplings (recipe from mom).
She is a former member of the Poynter Institute National Advisory Board, a board member of the Asian American Writers Workshop, and has been featured in the Esquire Women We Love issue.
(The portrait above was taken by Nina Subin, who does wonderful author photos)