Nicole Mones

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Nicole Mones (born 1952) is an American novelist and food writer.


As of March 2014 she has published four novels, including Lost in Translation, which appeared in 1998, A Cup of Light (2002), and The Last Chinese Chef, (2007), and in March 2014, "Night in Shanghai. Lost in Translation won the 2000 Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize[1] awarded by the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women's Studies and the Department of English at the University of Rochester for best work of fiction by an American woman, and also the Pacific Northwest Annual Book Award,[2] a five-state prize. "The Last Chinese Chef" was the only American finalist for the international Kiriyama Prize[3] and also a World Gourmand Award winner in the Chinese cookbook category, although it is a novel with no recipes. Mones' novels have been translated into at least 17 languages. She also contributes articles about Chinese cuisine to Gourmet magazine, and has written for The New York Times Magazine,[4] The Washington Post,[5] and The Los Angeles Times.[6]


Mones did business in China for 18 years from 1977, running a textile concern, and all four of her published novels are set mainly in China. In all of them, a love story is entwined around a detailed and accurate description of a facet of Chinese culture: in Lost in Translation, the heroine becomes involved in an archaeological expedition to find the remains of Peking Man; the action of A Cup of Light turns around a rare collection of Chinese porcelain; The Last Chinese Chef, as its name suggests, features Chinese cuisine; and Night in Shanghai is the story of African-American musicians in Shanghai during the jazz age and what happened when World War II exploded around them.

Mones currently lives in Portland, Oregon.


  • Lost in Translation − 1998
  • A Cup of Light – 2002
  • The Last Chinese Chef – 2007
  • Night in Shanghai – 2014





  1. ^ "Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize". Lost in Translation. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
  2. ^ "Pacific Northwest Book Award". Lost in Translation. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
  3. ^ "Finalists Kiriyama Prize 2008". Last Chinese Chef. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
  4. ^ Mones, Nicole (August 5, 2007). "Double Happiness" – via
  5. ^ Mones, Nicole (July 27, 2008). "We're Still in Love With The Romance of the Past" – via
  6. ^ Mones, Nicole (May 16, 1999). "Commentary; 'Why Can't They See Things Like We Do?'; Demonstrations: We judge the Chinese and their reactions by how we would likely react. They do the same with us". Los Angeles Times.


  • Book covers
  • Publishers' and booksellers' sites
  • Nicole Mones' web site
  • Various Book Prize websites
  • Review Sites

External links[edit]