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Jennifer 8. Lee        

Co-Founder of Plympton, Former New York Times Reporter & Author of "The Fortune Cookie Chronicles"

Jennifer 8. Lee is a journalist who previously worked for The New York Times. She is also the co-founder and president of the literary studio Plympton, as well as a producer on The Search for General Tso, which premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.

While a student at Harvard, Lee was the vice president of The Harvard Crimson student newspaper. She interned at The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Newsday, and The New York Times during college. She joined the Times in 2001, one and a half years after graduating from Harvard.

Lee wrote a book about the history of Chinese food in the United States and around the world, titled The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, documenting the process on her blog. Warner Books editor Jonathan Karp struck a deal with Lee to write a book about "how Chinese food is more all-American than apple pie." She appeared on The Colbert Report to promote the book. The book was #26 on the New York Times Best Seller list.

In December 2009, Lee accepted a buyout from The New York Times.

Lee attempted to popularize the term "man date" in a 2005 New York Times article, which subsequently inspired the 2009 film I Love You, Man starring Paul Rudd.

Lee has served on the advisory panel for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's "News Challenge", and has assisted the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks, dealing with the press and with social networking sites. She helped the organization with its April 2010 release of a video showing the July 12, 2007 Baghdad airstrike. Lee serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for Public Integrity, the Advisory Board of the Nieman Foundation, and the Asian American Writers' Workshop. She is also an advisor to Upworthy.

In 2011, Lee and fellow writer Yael Goldstein Love founded a literary studio named Plympton, Inc. The studio focuses on publishing serialized fiction for digital platforms. Investors include Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Y Combinator partner Garry Tan, Delicious founder Joshua Schachter, Hipmunk founder Adam Goldstein, Inkling founder Matt MacInnis, Columbia Law Professor Tim Wu (author of The Master Switch), Quora co-founder Charlie Cheever, and Tony Hsieh’s Vegas Tech Fund. Its first series launched in September 2012 as part of the Kindle Serials program. Its app Rooster, launched in March 2014, is a mobile reading service for iOS7.

In 2012, Lee created NewsDiffs, a website that archives article revisions from The New York Times, CNN, Politico, The Washington Post, and the BBC, with two brothers who were programmers, MIT graduate student Eric Price and Tddium employee Greg Price. They built the website in 38 hours (including sleep) during the June 16–17, 2012, Knight-Mozilla-M.I.T. hackathon at the MIT Media Lab


Meet the People Who Are Fighting for Even More Emoji Diversity

Emojination is the brainchild of Jennifer 8. Lee, a former New York Times journalist and co-founder of Plympton, a digital publishing company, and Yiying Lu, a designer who created the Twitter Fail Whale. Broadly, Emojination wants to increase representation within Unicode, the umbrella organization that votes on which emojis make it into our keyboards.

One Woman’s Bizarre, Delightful Quest To Change Emojis Forever

Imagine, for a moment, getting the chance to help build a new language. A language that’s used by millions of people around the world. A pictorial language with the power to transcend all other languages. If the opportunity presented itself, you’d take that shot, right? Jennifer 8. Lee would. And did.

Four Reasons to Catch Jennifer 8. Lee at the Women’s Lit Fest

She’s a thirty-something Harvard grad and a New York Times reporter with a serious food obsession, a wicked sense of humor, a love of good parties, and a new book out on the history of Chinese food in America. What’s not to like? When Jennifer 8. Lee swings by the Women’s Literary Festival at the DoubleTree Resort (633 E. Cabrillo Blvd.) this Saturday, March 28, she’ll be dishing up a deliciously funny narrative on everything from chop suey to chow mein to turkey dumplings.

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