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.

  • Book Musings

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    New Paperback Covers. Choose one.

    Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

    Twelve is going to reissue my paperback with a new cover with my photo by Nina Subin. Which one is better?

    “Fortune Cookie Chronicles” Coming to a Syllabus Near You

    Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

    Meryl Gordon, director of magazine writing at NYU’s Arthur Carter Journalism Institute, assigned my book to her undergraduate class. I’ve never seen this many copies of my book outside a bookstore!

    Fortune Cookie Chronicles Appears on NYTBR Paperback Row

    Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

    In The New York Times this Sunday. THE FORTUNE COOKIE CHRONICLES: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food, by Jennifer 8. Lee. (Twelve, $13.) An American-born Chinese (and a New York Times reporter), Lee investigates the Chinese restaurant business — the origin of fortune cookies (Japan), the beginning of door-to-door delivery in New York, the […]

    A Different Shade of Fortune

    Friday, April 3rd, 2009

    It’s interesting to see how the paperback and the hardcover are different shades of orange.

    Fortune Cookie Chronicle Takeout Boxes

    Monday, November 10th, 2008

    These were created and executed as the JCC of Greater Washington as part of my talk. I think they were absolutely adorable and I took one as a souvenir.

    What is a library memorial?

    Monday, August 25th, 2008

    What is a library memorial? Whatever it is, someone has created one for my book at Ford City Public Library. At first I thought, are either me or my book passed from this work? Then I realized it was in memory of Margaret A. Westwood from The Pontious Family . Maybe she liked Chinese food?

    My book is sold at the Olympic MPC!

    Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

    My friend from the WSJ told me he bought my book at the Olympic’ss Main Press Center bookstore.  So my book has a little piece of the Olympics!

    Fortune Cookie Chronicles, the Hong Kong Edition?

    Friday, August 22nd, 2008

    Google alerts just made me aware of a blog called Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Hong Kong. At first I thought it might be blogspam (I get these fake links to my site all the time), but this was a real blog by a real girl! The description: This blog will track my year-long experience in HK […]

    A Fortune Cookie Chronicles book club at the Fortune Cookie Chronicles Powerball Restaurant

    Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

    This is very adorable. I got a great email leading me to the photo above. “I’m the organizer for my neighborhood’s book club. We read your book last month and then ate at King Buffet, which is one of the fortune cookie winning restaurants here in Lawrence, Kansas.” The photo is of them holding up […]

    The Fortune Cookie (Chronicles) goes to China

    Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

    My editor, Jon Karp, just let me know that we’ve licensed Simplified Chinese rights (Mainland China) to Shanghai Sanhui Culture & Press. Which is very very exciting. Yay. Even if fortune cookies won’t be sold in China, a book about them will be. The best part of foreign rights is how they are titled and […]

    Book Publishing Industry Panel on July 22

    Monday, July 14th, 2008

    This is next week… Harvardwood is pleased to present our first-ever publishing industry panel event! The panel will feature authors Ceridwen Dovey ’03 (Blood Kin), Jennifer Lee ’99 (The Fortune Cookie Chronicles), and Nancy Redd ’03 (Body Drama), publishing manager and acquiring editor at Penguin Publishing Molly Barton, and Jennifer Joel ’98, book agent at […]

    I’m here. Really.

    Monday, July 14th, 2008

    Sorry for the lapse of blogging. I’ve been coming out of orbit and been busy, well, not doing anything to do with the book for like 10 days (which was lovely)  — this basically included blogging. (Lots of life transition now.) This week book is back in full force. Wednesday at the Harvard Club, Thursday […]

    99 copies of book on the shelves (at the NYPL)

    Sunday, June 29th, 2008

    Previously, as I noted, as of May 1, there had been like 19 copies at the NYPL, with a bunch of holds. Then today, a  reader sent me an email saying they got a gigantic order in Just wanted to let you know that I finished reading your book this morning (I thought NYPL was […]

    Laundry. A Luxury.

    Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

    You know your life is really out of whack when you are excited (as I am) that I finally have a chance to do laundry. (I hear the dryer spinning in a peaceful whirl). I am just coming out of orbit now. I have an event this Sunday (Jews! Hamptons!) and another Monday. And then […]

    WAMU: Kojo Nnamdi Show, and musings on radio interviews

    Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

    I finally got my chance to appear on the Kojo Nnamdi show on WAMU in Washington, which means that except for Chicago, I’ve been on all the major NPR markets: New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia (WHYY’s building is soooo nice) + assorted markets in New Hampshire, Colorado. I have to […]

    Fortune Cookie Chronicles as a QPB “Main Selection”

    Sunday, June 15th, 2008

    I heard from my publisher this week: Quality Paperback, an affiliate of Book of the Month Club, decided to use Fortune Cookie Chronicles as the Main Selection as opposed to (I think) just a regular or alternate selection. They are going to issue an early paperback (will this look like the permanent paperback?) Suddenly I […]

    Auditioning for the Jews, who love Chinese Food (and Books)

    Thursday, May 29th, 2008

    So I recently went to Los Angeles for a two-minute audition held by the Jewish Book Council, which coordinates the Jewish Book Network of some 100 Jewish book fairs and events around the country. It is a combination of speed dating and the gong show or “JDate and a camel auction“, as Rachel Donadio wrote […]

    Fortune Cookie Chronicles in Accra, Ghana

    Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

    Yay. Fortune Cookie Chronicles hits sub-Saharan Africa before I do (I have only been to Mauritius). Sent to me by a fan. This is the independence monument with Kwame Nkrumah, pan-Africanist.

    On hold, checked out, due. Fortune Cookies Chronicles in Libraries

    Thursday, May 1st, 2008

    In searching the NYPL LEO (and their research catalogue is CATNYP, adorable no?) I discovered there were 166 holds on 19 copies of the Fortune Cookie Chronicles at the NYPL as of May 1 (none seem to be in stock, oddly, they are all on order…didn’t this book come out two months ago?). This made […]

    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 […]

    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 […]

    Today is the day I guess I get kicked off the NYT bestseller list

    Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

    So Wednesday afternoons, the NYT bestsellers are revealed. Today the list comes out for the the week closing Saturday, April 5, and I think after a happy three-week run, The Fortune Cookie Chronicles will fall off the extended list. After popping in at #26 during my second week of publication, the last two weeks, I […]

    4.85 stars on Amazon

    Monday, April 7th, 2008

    Today I got my 20th review on Amazon (it’s a really short one though), so now the book has 17 five-star and 3 four-star ratings, which computes to 4.85 (and thus rounds up to 5 stars). I feel like I’m computing some kind of GPA.

    Projections are I will get my life back in about late June…

    Monday, April 7th, 2008

    Based on my calendar. Apologies to everyone who is falling by the wayside :(.

    So you want to publish a book? Panel discussion tomorrow, April 8

    Monday, April 7th, 2008

    The New York Chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association is holding a panel tomorrow, called “So you want to publish a book? A panel for your book publishing fantasies to come true.” We will cover:   ·         What do you need to get started? ·         How much research is required? ·         Common mistakes writers […]

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