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Jamie Ford is the great-grandson of Nevada mining pioneer Min Chung, who emigrated in 1865 from Kaiping, China, to San Francisco, where he adopted the Western name, “Ford.” Ford studied as an illustrator and found professional success as an art director and copywriter before turning his attention to fiction. An award-winning short story writer, his debut novel was inspired by the “I Am Chinese” button his father mentioned wearing as a child after the bombing of Pearl Harbour. Ford wrote a short story about the button, which later became a chapter in the book. Now a New York Times bestseller, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet has been awarded the 2010 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature and translated into thirty languages. Ford grew up near Seattle’s Chinatown, but now lives in Montana with his wife and children.
Author photo © Laurence Kim
June 2014 Book of the Month. A bittersweet tale that fluctuates back and forth between 1921 and 1934. It follows an orphan Chinese boy, William, in Seattle who sees a beautiful Chinese woman, Willow Frost, in a film and is convinced she is his mother. We then backtrack and get Willow, aka Liu Song’s tragic early life before jumping forward to discover William’s escape from the orphanage with a young blind girl and their pursuit of Willow. The whole thing is utterly charming with a fascinating backdrop of the Chinese attempting to blend into American life and wonderful historical detail of the Depression. A very fine book indeed and an excellent follow up to Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.
March 2012 Debut of the Month.40 years on, the discovery of a Japanese family's personal belongings stirs memories of an innocent first love. This New York Times best-seller has sold more than 1 million copies and been translated into 30 languages – but that is because it is a very special debut book. Beautifully and evocatively written this tender story of the power of love and the human heart will stay with you long after you finish it and is perfect for reading groups.
From the bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet comes a powerful novel, inspired by a true story, about a boy whose life is transformed at Seattle's epic 1909 World's Fair.';An evocative, heartfelt, beautifully crafted story that shines a light on a fascinating, tragic bit of forgotten history.'Kristin Hannah, author ofThe Nightingale For twelve-year-old Ernest Young, a charity student at a boarding school, the chance to go to the World's Fair feels like a gift. But only once he's there, amid the exotic exhibits, fireworks, and Ferris wheels, does he discover that he is the one who is actually the prize. The half-Chinese orphan is astounded to learn he will be raffled offa healthy boy ';to a good home.' The winning ticket belongs to the flamboyant madam of a high-class brothel, famous for educating her girls. There, Ernest becomes the new houseboy and befriends Maisie, the madam's precocious daughter, and a bold scullery maid named Fahn. Their friendship and affection form the first real family Ernest has ever knownand against all odds, this new sporting life gives him the sense of home he's always desired. But as the grande dame succumbs to an occupational hazard and their world of finery begins to crumble, all three must grapple with hope, ambition, and first love. Fifty years later, in the shadow of Seattle's second World's Fair, Ernest struggles to help his ailing wife reconcile who she once was with who she wanted to be, while trying to keep family secrets hidden from their grown-up daughters. Against a rich backdrop of post-Victorian vice, suffrage, and celebration, Love and Other Consolations is an enchanting tale about innocence and devotionin a world where everything, and everyone, is for sale.Read by Emily Woo Zeller, with a note read by the AuthorAdvance praise for Love and Other Consolation Prizes';Ford is a master at shining light into dark, forgotten corners of history and revealing the most unexpected and relatable human threads. . . . A beautiful and enthralling story of resilience and the many permutations of love.'Jessica Shattuck, author ofThe Women in the Castle';All the charm and heartbreak of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet . . .Based on a true story, Love and Other Consolation Prizes will warm your soul.'Martha Hall Kelly, author of Lilac Girls
Jamie Ford caused a stir among readers with his unforgettable debut, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, which he followed up with the much-anticipated Songs of Willow Frost. Each in their own way, these New York Times bestsellers delve into the past, combining exquisite storytelling with heartfelt explorations of family, love, and heritage. Now both magnificent novels are together in one exclusive eBook bundle. HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET ';Mesmerizing and evocative . . . a tale of conflicted loyalties and timeless devotion.'Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants ';A wartime-era Chinese-Japanese variation on Romeo and Juliet . . . The period detail [is] so revealing and so well rendered.'The Seattle Times In 1986, Henry Lee joins a crowd outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle's Japantown, where the new owner has discovered the belongings of Japanese families who were sent to internment camps during World War II. As the owner displays and unfurls a Japanese parasol, Henry, a Chinese American, remembers a young Japanese American girl from his childhood in the 1940sKeiko Okabe, with whom he forged a bond that transcended the prejudices of their Old World ancestors. After Keiko and her family were evacuated, she and Henry could only hope that their promise to each other would be kept. Now, forty years later, Henry explores the hotel's basement for the Okabe family's belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot even begin to measure. SONGS OF WILLOW FROST ';Jamie Ford is a first-rate novelist, and with Songs of Willow Frost he takes a great leap forward and demonstrates the uncanny ability to move me to tears.'Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides ';Arresting . . . [with] the kind of ending readers always hope for, but seldom get.'The Dallas Morning News Seattle, 1934: Twelve-year-old William Eng, a Chinese American boy, has lived at Sacred Heart Orphanage ever since his mother was carried away from their small apartment five years ago. But now William, in a rare visit to the movies, has glimpsed an actress on the silver screen who goes by the name of Willow Frost. Struck by her features, William is convinced that she is his mother. Determined to find her, William escapes from Sacred Heart with his friend Charlotte. The pair navigate the streets of Seattle, where they must not only survive but confront the mysteries of William's past and his connection to Willow Frost . . . a woman whose story is far more complicated than any fantasy portrayed onscreen.
Seit dem Tag, an dem der leblose Korper seiner Mutter aus dem Haus getragen wurde, lebt William Eng im Waisenhaus. Als er im Kino die schone Sangerin Willow Frost sieht, ist er uberwaltigt. Tauschend ahnlich sieht sie seiner Mutter. Entschlossen, den fernen Filmstar aufzuspuren, lauft er fort, schlagt sich auf den Straen Seattles durch, sucht sie in Theatern und Lichtspielhausern. Er muss Willow Frost finden. Er muss beweisen, dass sie seine Mutter ist, und endlich erfahren, was damals passierte. Vor dem Hintergrund der Groen Depression im Seattle der dreiiger Jahre hat Jamie Ford einen berhrenden Roman ber einen Jungen geschrieben, der nicht aufhrt, an die Liebe seiner Mutter zu glauben, der alles wagt, um sie wiederzufinden.
A short story from Jamie Ford, the New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERFrom Jamie Ford,author of the beloved Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, comes a much-anticipated second novel. Set against the backdrop of Depression-era Seattle, Songs of Willow Frost is a powerful tale of two soulsa boy with dreams for his future and a woman escaping her haunted pastboth seeking love, hope, and forgiveness. Twelve-year-old William Eng, a Chinese American boy, has lived at Seattle's Sacred Heart Orphanage ever since his mother's listless body was carried away from their small apartment five years ago. On his birthdayor rather, the day the nuns designate as his birthdayWilliam and the other orphans are taken to the historical Moore Theatre, where William glimpses an actress on the silver screen who goes by the name of Willow Frost. Struck by her features, William is convinced that the movie star is his mother, Liu Song. Determined to find Willow and prove that his mother is still alive, William escapes from Sacred Heart with his friend Charlotte. The pair navigate the streets of Seattle, where they must not only survive but confront the mysteries of William's past and his connection to the exotic film star. The story of Willow Frost, however, is far more complicated than the Hollywood fantasy William sees onscreen. Shifting between the Great Depression and the 1920s, Songs of Willow Frost takes readers on an emotional journey of discovery. Jamie Ford's sweeping novel will resonate with anyone who has ever longed for the comforts of family and a place to call home.Praise for Songs of Willow Frost ';If you liked Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, you're going to love Songs of Willow Frost. . . . tender, powerful, and deeply satisfying.'Lisa Genova ';[A] poignant tale of lost and found love.'Tampa Bay Times ';Arresting . . . [with] the kind of ending readers always hope for, but seldom get.'The Dallas Morning News ';[An] achingly tender story . . . a tale of nuance and emotion.'The Providence Journal ';Ford crafts [a] beautiful, tender tale of love transcending the sins people perpetrate on one another and shows how the strength of our primal relationships is the best part of our human nature.'Great Falls Tribune ';Remarkable . . . likely to appeal to readers who enjoy the multi-generational novels of Amy Tan.'Bookreporter ';Jamie Ford is a first-rate novelist, and with Songs of Willow Frost he takes a great leap forward and demonstrates the uncanny ability to move me to tears.'Pat Conroy ';With vivid detail, Jamie Ford brings to life Seattle's Chinatown during the Depression and chronicles the high price those desperate times exacted from an orphaned boy and the woman he believes is his mother. Songs of Willow Frost is about innocence and the loss of it, about longing, about the power of remembered love.'Nancy Horan, author of Loving Frank ';Ford's boundless compassion for the human spirit, in all its strengths and weaknesses, makes him one of our most unique and compelling storytellers.'Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand ';A beautiful novel . . . William's journey is one you'll savor, and then think about long after the book is closed.'Susan Wiggs, author of The Apple OrchardFrom the Hardcover edition.
Sentimental, heartfelt.the exploration of Henrys changing relationship with his family and with Keiko will keep most readers turning pages...A timely debut that not only reminds readers of a shameful episode in American history, but cautions us to examine the present and take heed we dont repeat those injustices.-- Kirkus ReviewsA tender and satisfying novel set in a time and a place lost forever, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet gives us a glimpse of the damage that is caused by war--not the sweeping damage of the battlefield, but the cold, cruel damage to the hearts and humanity of individual people. Especially relevant in today's world, this is a beautifully written book that will make you think. And, more importantly, it will make you feel. -- Garth Stein, New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the RainJamie Ford's first novel explores the age-old conflicts between father and son, the beauty and sadness of what happened to Japanese Americans in the Seattle area during World War II, and the depths and longing of deep-heart love. An impressive, bitter, and sweet debut.-- Lisa See, bestselling author of Snow Flower and the Secret FanIn the opening pages of Jamie Fords stunning debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattles Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.This simple act takes old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when young Henrys world is a jumble of confusion and excitement, and to his father, who is obsessed with the war in China and having Henry grow up American. While scholarshipping at the exclusive Rainier Elementary, where the white kids ignore him, Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendshipand innocent lovethat transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. And after Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept.Forty years later, Henry Lee is certain that the parasol belonged to Keiko. In the hotels dark dusty basement he begins looking for signs of the Okabe familys belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot begin to measure. Now a widower, Henry is still trying to find his voicewords that might explain the actions of his nationalistic father; words that might bridge the gap between him and his modern, Chinese American son; words that might help him confront the choices he made many years ago. Set during one of the most conflicted and volatile times in American history, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is an extraordinary story of commitment and enduring hope. In Henry and Keiko, Jamie Ford has created an unforgettable duo whose story teaches us of the power of forgiveness and the human heart.From the Hardcover edition.