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Writer Jiayang Fan’s Grub Street Diet

Illustration: Margalit Cutler

As a staff writer for The New Yorker, Jiayang Fan has covered the umbrella protests in Hong Kong, Constance Wu’s star power, and the impact of the coronavirus on Chinatown. But she got personal in an essay last month in which she details her mother’s struggle with ALS, a story that Fan will expand on for a book, Motherland. “Food is our language,” Fan says of her mother. “She loves to send me lists of what to buy at the grocery store.” While Fan is currently busy advocating for her mother’s care, she makes time — sometimes at very late hours — to snack on dried squid, feast on flaky mooncakes with friends, and make sure her local Taco Bell knows that, yes, she really does want 50 packets of hot sauce for her five tacos.

Thursday, October 1
I’m not usually a big

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