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Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

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In 1986, Henry Lee joins a crowd outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle's Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now 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 1940s—Keiko Okabe, with whom he forged a bond of friendship and innocent love that transcended the prejudices of their Old World ancestors. After Keiko and her family were evacuated to the internment camps, 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. His search will take him on a journey to revisit the sacrifices he has made for family, for love, for country.

290 pages, Hardcover

First published January 27, 2009

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About the author

Jamie Ford

25 books3,029 followers
Jamie Ford’s debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list and went on to win the 2010 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. Jamie’s work has been published in 34 languages. Also, because Jamie feels weird writing about himself in the 3rd person, he’s going to say…

Hi, this is me.

Not a publicist. Not some weird aggregated bit of web-content, just little ol’ me, the author, sitting here in my favorite Batman pajamas (yes, I have several pairs) writing this note in my cozy home office, dog at my feet. Her name is Lucy and she’s twitching right now, obviously chasing squirrels in her dreams.

While we’re chatting, I should mention that my latest novel novel, The Many Daughters of Afong Moy, is now available for pre-order :)

If you’re looking for more things that have spilled out of my brain, I have steampunk storiess in The End is Nigh, The End is Now, and The End Has Come (The Apocalypse Triptych). Also a tale in Stories from Suffragette City.

Lest I forget, I have a story in Anonymous Sex, but I'm not allowed to say which story is mine.

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