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ONE BOOK, ONE COMMUNITY OF MONROE COUNTY - 2018

 

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About the Author

Jamie Ford AuthorJamie Ford (1968 -   ) was born in Eureka, California. His father, a Seattle native, is of Chinese ancestry, while Ford’s mother is of European descent. His grandmother called him by the Chinese name Ja mei, hence the nickname.

Ford is the great grandson of Nevada mining pioneer Min Chung (1850-1922), who emigrated from Kaiping, China, to San Francisco in 1865, where he adopted the western name “Ford,” thus confusing countless generations. Ford’s great grandmother, Loy Lee Ford (1882-1921), was the first Chinese woman to own property in Nevada.

Soon after Ford's first birthday, the family settled in Ashland, Oregon, then moved again when he was 12 and his father got a job at a Chinese restaurant in Port Orchard, across Puget Sound from Seattle, where his father's family lived.

Ford earned an associate degree in Design from the Art Institute of Seattle and also attended Seattle’s School of Visual Concepts. He spent three years as art director of a chain of weekly newspapers, did freelance ad work, and after a few months he worked as an art director and collected an impressive number of advertising awards and honors. By then, he was thinking about fiction writing.

His first vignette, "I Am Chinese," was published in the now-defunct Piccolata Review in 2006. That year Ford went to Buena Vista, Virginia for a writers boot camp run by science fiction author Orson Scott Card, who suggested he create "a noble romantic tragedy." A reworked version of "I Am Chinese" was selected as a finalist for Glimmer Train's 2006 short story award for new writers and wound up as a chapter in Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Ford is also an alumnus of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers.

The next year he left advertising, figuring to return in two years if writing didn't pan out.

The novel began coming together as Ford was researching the robbery and killing of 13 people in 1983 at Wah Mee, a Chinatown gambling den where his grandfather once worked, and stumbled onto an unrelated article about a discovery at the Panama Hotel, built as lodging for immigrant Japanese laborers in 1910.

As in Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, a woman bought the long-closed landmark in 1986 and found in the basement the personal effects (scrapbooks, kimonos, dolls, records, and photographs) of 37 Japanese families who placed them in storage before being interned during the war and never returned.

In a rare deviation from fact, the owner in the book is named Palmyra Pettison. The actual owner is Jan Johnson, an artist Ford eventually visited at the Panama Hotel. The only other noteworthy name change is the site of Camp Harmony, a temporary internment center, given in the book as the Washington State Fairgrounds and in real life the Western Washington Fairgrounds.

Having grown up near Seattle’s Chinatown, he now lives in Montana (Ford is married and has six children).

Source:  Jamie Ford and Penguin Random House websites

Want to Know More About the Author?  

Website                   
Facebook @ JamieFordAuthor   
Instagram @ jamiefordofficial         
Twitter @JamieFord       
Pinterest @ jamie4ord   

 

LIST OF WORKS

Love and Other Consolation Prizes (Ballantine Books 2017)

“The Dive” from Montana Noir, edited by James Grady and Keir Graff (Akashic Books 2017)*

“Daredevil, Electra, and a Ninja who Stole my Virginity” from Last Night, a Superhero Saved My Life: Neil Gaiman!! Jodi Picoult!! Brad Meltzer!! . . . and an All-Star Roster on the Caped Crusaders That Changed Their Lives, edited by Liesa Mignogna (Thomas Dunne Books 2016)*

“This Unkempt World is Falling to Pieces” from Polychrome Futures and Fantasies: A Sampler of Science Fiction & Fantasy by People of Colo(u)r, edited by John Joseph Adams (2016).

“The Uncertainty Machine” from The End Has Come (The Apocalypse Triptych series, #3), edited by John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 2015)*

“By the Hair of the Moon” from The End Is Now (The Apocalypse Triptych series, #2), edited by John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 2014)*

“This Unkempt World is Falling to Pieces” from The End is Nigh (The Apocalypse Triptych series,#1),  edited by John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 2014)*

“Wish You Were Here at the Bottom of a Well” for Bedtime Stories**

Songs of Willow Frost (Ballantine Books 2013)

Middle, Lost, and Found (Allison & Busby 2013) Novella

“Clean Getaway” from Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology (Secret Identities series, #2) edited by Jeff Yang, Parry Shen, Keith Chow, and Jerry Ma (The New Press 2012)*

Hotel Angeline: A Novel in 36 Voices (Open Road Media 2011)***

“Gaman” from Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology (Secret Identities series, #1) edited by Jeff Yang, Parry Shen, Keith Chow, and Jerry Ma (The New Press 2009)*   

 

* contributor
** an annual event put on by Humanities Washington
*** thirty-six Pacific Northwest writers came together for a week-long marathon of writing live on stage. The result? "Hotel Angeline", a truly inventive novel that surprises at every turn of the page.

For more about Jamie Ford’s works, click here.

 

CONVERSATIONS

ONLINE VIDEO INTERVIEWS AND READING

  • Thousand Oaks Library: Jamie Ford visits the Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza for an afternoon of discussion for Thousand Oaks Reads: One City One Book. Topic of discussion revolves around Jamie and his book, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. (57:23 minutes). November 12, 2011

  • Edmonds Community College, Convergence Writers Series: Q & A with Jamie Ford, bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. (32:13 minutes). February 27, 2013

  • NPS Weekend Edition Saturday: Listen to host Scott Simon talk with first time novelist Jamie Ford about his book Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. (7:15 minutes). Transcript included. February 7, 2009

  • The Writers Center: Author Jamie Ford talks about the inspiration behind his New York Times bestseller, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. (5:43 minutes). August 5, 2010

WRITTEN INTERVIEWS

  • HuffPost-The Blog: “Author Jamie Ford on the Real Place That Inspired Bestseller ‘Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet’” by Julia Rocchi. December 6, 2017
  • Jamie Ford Website: A conversation with Jamie Ford about Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet from his official website. Viewed January 23, 2018

  • Goodreads. An interview with Jamie Ford. February, 2009

  • Discover Nikkei. An interview with Jamie Ford, Author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Koji Steven Sakai. April 5, 2011

  • National Trust for Historic Preservation: "When You Lose That Continuity, You Lose Some Nothing Greater” by Julia Rocchi. May 28, 2015