A newly launched textile business took Nicole Mones to China in 1977, six weeks after the government declared an end to the Cultural Revolution. She ran this business for eighteen years, building relationships and learning about China, before she turned to writing about that country. The Last Chinese Chef is her third novel; she is also the author of the novels Lost in Translation and A Cup of Light, which are in print in ten languages. All three novels were Booksense picks. Lost in Translation, a New York Times Notable Book and Editor’s Choice, won the Pacific Northwest Bookseller’s Association Book Award (a five-state prize) and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize (national, for best work of fiction by any American woman). It was also the main seasonal selection of France Loisirs, the French book of the month club.
Since 1999 Nicole has written about Chinese food for Gourmet magazine, covering the food scenes in cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Yunnan Province, and the San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles. Her work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times (op-ed pages) and Washington Post (book review).