Thursday, March 13, 2008

Fortune Cooke Chronicles

Jennifer 8. Lee's new book on Chinese food is generating a lot of buzz and getting great reviews. I met Jennifer when "Golden Venture" ( premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2006. She covered the press conference given by the Golden Venture passengers who are still seeking permanent legal residence in the US and came along for a photo shoot with the passengers at a studio on the Lower East Side.

"Fortune Cookie Chronicles" is winning particularly high praise for weaving the story of the new wave of immigrants from Fujian Province together with a more light-hearted account of the role of Chinese food in American culinary culture.

Jennifer has a wonderful blog that links to excerpts from the book and the ever-growing pile of critical raves. The site links to Jennifer's New York Times story about a Fujianese family that ended up running a Chinese restaurant in Georgia (here) and to her Times story about the missing deliveryman case in the Bronx from a few years back (here).

The book is a powerful reminder of one of the tragic irony's of the Golden Venture story, and of immigrants bashing in general. The GoldenVenture passengers came here to make and deliver Chinese food. And for that many were put in jail for almost four years!