Later in her blossoming career, Lee wrote The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, a book that “traces the history of Chinese-American experience through the lens of the food” and “speaks to the immigrant experience as a whole and the way it has shaped our country” (Lee). She appeared on The Colbert Report to promote the book, which reached #26 on the New York Times Best Seller list. She was also a producer for the documentary, The Search for General Tso, which explores the origins of the popular chicken dish in America's Chinese restaurants.
We chose to dedicate our first “Blog Spotlight” to Jennifer 8. Lee, because she stays true to her roots by studying, embracing, and informing others about her culture with poised writing backed by copious research. She has defined her own success in America and represents the endless abilities of minorities in all she does.
I was fortunate enough to interview Ms. Lee about her immense success as an Asian-American:
1. When or how did you discover your love for writing?
I joined my high school newspaper and became Co-Editor-in-Chief.
2. Has being a minority helped or hindered your path to success in any way?
I think it helped to be Chinese-American because I had multiple language skills. There are so many benefits of being bilingual, so it's very important to learn and embrace that!
3. What is your message to young Asian Americans who are too afraid to pursue their dreams due to certain racial stereotypes? (For example, many Asian parents encourage their children to seek STEM careers).
You are likely to be great at and have an intrinsic motivation for what you are passionate about. You are less likely to be good at something you are blasé about, and the impact you will make in that area will be limited. If you don't enjoy what you do, find something else that will allow you to genuinely make a positive change in the world around you.
Lee gets right to the point: She found her voice through her words, and she is encouraging you to find yours, too.
Author: Claire Cao
8/4/17- It's Time for Asian-Americans to Join the Movement
8/13/17- RepresentASIAN: Interview with Author Jennifer 8. Lee
9/2/17- RepresentASIAN: Interview with Rockette Jackie Aitken
9/17/17- Diversity Vlog: Carina's Visit to China
9/20/17- Facing History and Ourselves
10/14/17- Asians and Hollywood
11/16/17- RepresentASIAN: Interview with Future Congresswoman Lindy Li
12/20/17- RepresentASIAN: Interview with Nike Cinematographer Daisy Zhou