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Penn Writers on China
The evening of March 12th at Dali Courtyard, we were very pleased to have a wonderful and interesting dinner event at Dali Courtyard.We had invited 3 Penn graduates who are authors and journalists plus one Columbia grad spouse writer to talk to us about their lives, their writing and the challenges of writing in English about China.Short biographies and links are attached below:

Panelist Bios
Nicole Mones CĄŻ73 first came to China in 1977 to start a textile business, and ran that business for 18 years before beginning to write. She is the author of the novels Lost in Translation, A Cup of Light, and The Last Chinese Chef, which have been published in 18 languages. The Last Chinese Chef was a finalist for the 2008 Kiriyama Prize and won a World Gourmand Award as one of the year''s best Chinese cookbooks, even though it is a novel with no recipes. Her nonfiction writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Gourmet Magazine, and various overseas publications.

Simon Elegant CĄŻ82 was born in Hong Kong and since then it seems that, one way or another, China has pretty much always been at the center of his life. Though he lived and worked in Taiwan and Hong Kong and had visited mainland China many times, he never had the chance to spend more than a few weeks at a time there until the Spring of 2006 when he and his family moved to Beijing. He is free lance journalist formerly with Time Magazine and the Far Eastern Economic Review and is the author of 2 books, A Floating Life ( )and A Chinese Wedding ( His father, Robert S. Elegant is also a Penn graduate and a well known author and journalist.

Craig Simons CĄŻ96 graduated from the College and moved to China as a Peace Corps volunteer that summer. After working at Harvard and then earning a master's degree there in 2001, he moved to Singapore to work for Reuters. In 2002, he moved to Beijing, where he worked as a freelance journalist and for Newsweek before taking a job in 2005 as the Asia correspondent for Cox Newspapers, an Atlanta-based chain with 17 dailies. He's married to Jen Lin-Liu.

Jen Lin-Liu is a Chinese-American writer and the founder of the cooking school Black Sesame Kitchen. She was raised in southern California, graduated from Columbia University, and came to China in 2000 on a Fulbright fellowship. A restaurant editor for Zagat Survey and the coauthor of Frommers Beijing, she has also written for Newsweek, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Saveur, Food & Wine, and Time Out Beijing. She lives in Beijing with her husband, Craig Simons.