Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

The Worm Hole Podcast Episode 34: Lillian Li (Number One Chinese Restaurant)

Charlie and Lillian Li (Number One Chinese Restaurant) discuss racial prejudice in Chinese restaurants, looking at the narrative of immigrant parents and sacrifice, and how her editor pushed her to increase the impact of themes and ideas.

Please note that I have not censored the swear words in this episode because the over all effect would be different without them.

The article Charlie quotes from: “‘Customers looked right through me’: what I learned working in a Chinese restaurant”
The video of Lillian’s event for Politics and Prose

Release details: recorded 12th March 2021; published 22nd March 2021

Lillian’s social media: Website || Twitter

You can contact the show at

Go back to the list of episodes

Show notes:

Question Index
Book Purchasing Links
Photo Credit Line

Question Index

00:57 You work at Literati. What is it like working in a bookshop as an author?
08:03 You have a few origin stories for Number One Chinese Restaurant. Is there one that’s the most important to you to tell, the one that’s most crucial to the book?
17:03 How did you come to decide to discuss issues of race in the way you do?
20:57 Does the title have a place in what you’ve been talking about?
30:08 Is Jimmy your favourite character?
32:17 Why is Nan and Pat’s relationship important to the book?
36:16 There’s a lot of language switching in the book – why did you decide to do this and what were your choices informed by?
38:58 Could the story have been told without Uncle Pang?
40:46 Was it always your intent to include moments of comedy?
41:37 What is the importance of food further than it’s simple inclusion, so to speak, in the book?
45:39 What’s next?

Purchasing Links
Book Cover

I am an IndieBound affiliate and earn a small commission on qualifying purchases.


Coming soon

Photograph used with the permission of the author. Credit: Margarita Corporan.


No Comments


Comments closed