Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Te-Ping Chen is a fiction writer and journalist, who was a longtime Wall Street Journal correspondent in Beijing and Hong Kong, and now reports for the Journal from Philadelphia. Her debut short story collection, Land of Big Numbers, was released this month. These stories trace a diverse set of characters in China, from a rural inventor desperately trying to build an airplane to impress local Party cadres, to a dissident daughter posting the government’s human rights abuses online, to a young migrant working in a flower shop and becoming enamored with her wealthy customers. In this lightly edited interview, we discussed the inspiration behind these stories, how reporting on China is different from writing fiction set in China, and how reality in China is often more whimsical than what a fiction writer could dream up. Te-Ping Chen.Illustration by Kate Copeland Q: How did you decide to write this book? A: Well, it wasn’t that I set out to write a book. When I began writing Subscribe or register to read the rest. Registered users can access a limited amount of content for free.Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.