From a review of The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, by Jennifer 8. Lee, on a subject close to my heart:
Intrigued by the Powerball drawing of March 30, 2005, which produced an inordinate quantity of winning lottery tickets because the lucky numbers had turned up in fortune cookies all around the country, Lee rides her obsession on a three-year, 42-state, 23-country journey during which she discovers that fortune cookies, like so much about America’s Chinese restaurants, aren’t really Chinese. They originated in 19th-century Japan and were sold in Japanese confectionery shops in San Francisco until World War II, when Japanese-Americans were interned, at which point Chinese entrepreneurs took over the business. Lee tracks down Donald Lau, who spent a decade writing fortunes for the biggest cookie manufacturer until he suffered writer’s block and had to retire in 1995.
Friday, March 7, 2008
From New York Times Book Review: