Jerome Joseph Gentes interviewed Jennifer 8. Lee for Publishers Weekly.
One question from the interview:
How did your search for the fortune cookie’s origins evolve into this broader social and cultural history?
Cookies weren’t the main story in the beginning. I had all these discrete chapters on different subjects like cookies, General Tso’s chicken and so on. The Powerball incident [in which several winners had all chosen the same numbers from a fortune cookie] gave me a larger narrative to hang the other, smaller stories on. Then I saw that I could trace the cookies back and tell the history of Chinese food going forward. I couldn’t make everything fit. I would have liked to have done more, say, on woks or the Chinese-fast-food chain, Panda Express.
Read the entire Q & A.