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Wine & Book Group Pick for July '07

abstract:July is the month that promises long summer days and time to escape into a delicious novel set in far-away lands. This monthís Wine & Book Pick take us to Beijing, China, where Nicole Mones (bestselling author of Lost in Translation) brings us an enticing story of friendship, love and, cuisine The Last Chinese Chef (HoughtonMifflin, 2007)


July 01, 2007

About The Author

Nicole Mones' Nicole began her love affair with China in 1977 at the age of 24 when she moved her business to Shanghai just at the end of the Chinese cultural revolution. There began her foray into the history and culture of the people. She has written three novels set in China: Lost in Translation, A Cup of Light and her latest, The Last Chinese Chef

Mones has won the New York Times Notable Book Award and Editor's Choice Award, along with the Pacific Northwest Fiction Prize (a 5-state prize) and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize (a national prize for best work of fiction by any American woman) among others. All three of her novels were BookSense picks.

Nicole lives with her husband and children in Portland, Oregon.

About the Novel

This alluring novel of friendship, love, and cuisine brings the best-selling author of Lost in Translation and A Cup of Light to one of the great Chinese subjects: food. As in her previous novels, Monesís captivating story also brings into focus a changing China -- this time the hidden world of high culinary culture. When Maggie McElroy, a widowed American food writer, learns of a Chinese paternity claim against her late husbandís estate, she has to go immediately to Beijing. She asks her magazine for time off, but her editor counters with an assignment: to profile the rising culinary star Sam Liang.

In China Maggie unties the knots of her husbandís past, finding out more than she expected about him and about herself. With Sam as her guide, she is also drawn deep into a world of food rooted in centuries of history and philosophy. To her surprise she begins to be transformed by the cuisine, by Samís family -- a querulous but loving pack of cooks and diners -- and most of all by Sam himself. The Last Chinese Chef is the exhilarating story of a woman regaining her soul in the most unexpected of places.

Women & Wine Selections

Please click to our partners at Women & Wine to see the delicious wines at three different price points they've selected to match The Last Chinese Chef.

Links & Resources

Audiofile Interview at

Previous Wine & Book Picks

  • June The Birth House, set in Nova Scotia
  • May Water for Elephants, set in Depression-era America
  • March-April Snowflower and the Secret Fan, set in China
  • February Cloudstreet, set in Perth, Australia
  • January The Good German, set in Berlin
  • December The Historian, set in Eastern Europe
  • November One Good Turn, set in Edinburgh
  • September Lost in the Forest, set in Napa Valley
  • August The Hummingbird's Daughter, set in Mexico
  • July The Devil Wears Prada, set in NYC
  • June Woolf in Ceylon, set in Ceylon
  • May Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living, Australia
  • April The Mermaid Chair, set in South Carolina
  • March Memoirs of a Geisha, set in Japan
  • February Get a Life, set in South Africa
  • January The Shadow of the Wind, set in Barcelona
  • December Pride and Prejudice, set in England
  • November Beyond Measure, set in Rennaissance Italy
  • October Breakfast at Tiffany's, set in New York


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