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Buy Songs of Willow Frost

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From Jamie Ford, the New York Times bestselling 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 souls—a boy with dreams for his future and a woman escaping her haunted past—both 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 birthday—or rather, the day the nuns designate as his birthday—William 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.


Buy Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

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In the opening pages of Jamie Ford’s 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 Seattle’s 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 Henry’s 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 friendship–and innocent love–that 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 hotel’s dark dusty basement he begins looking for signs of the Okabe family’s belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot begin to measure. Now a widower, Henry is still trying to find his voice–words that might explain the actions of his 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.

 

Praise for Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

“A 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 Rain

“Jamie 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 Fan

"Sentimental, heartfelt….the exploration of Henry’s 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 don’t repeat those injustices."

-- Kirkus Reviews

 

Graphic Novels

A fan of all graphic mediums, Jamie Ford's script for Gaman, appears in Secret Identities, the first Asian American Superhero Anthology. Illustrations by Alex Tarampi.

Secret Identities

ISBN: 159558398X

Trade paperback - Spring 2009

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What if we told you a tale about a quiet, unassuming guy with black hair and thick glasses? He’s an immigrant, who’s done his best to fit in to a world that isn’t his—one very different from the land of his birth. He’s got a hidden side to himself that he can’t quite bring himself to show, not even to the popular girl he’s got a huge crush on. If only she knew who he really was—what he could really do—she’d be amazed, he thinks. If only she knew. If only everyone knew...

For many Asian Americans, this chronicle is a familiar one, because many of us lived it. But this also happens to be the story of a mild-mannered reporter named Clark Kent, better known to the world by his alter ego: Superman. And it’s just one example of the parallels between the cultural narrative of Asian America and the mythic foundation of the comic book superhero.

These parallels, along with the burgeoning array of Asian American creative talent in the mainstream and alternative comics industries, are what have led New York Times best-selling author Jeff Yang; independent comics creator Jerry Ma; comics education specialist Keith Chow, and actor Parry Shen to team up to edit Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology, the first-ever graphic novel collection of original stories exploring the universe of masked marvels and caped crusaders from the perspective of the nation's fastest-growing and most dynamic emerging community. The book will be published in trade paperback by The New Press, one of the nation's leading independent publishers, hitting bookshelves in SPRING 2009!

"Beyond awesome...this book made me feel like I could leap over tall buildings in a single bound!"  

Margaret Cho, Comedian

“Wowee!!! The superheroes exploding out of the pages of Secret Identities are mind-blowing! As a kid who grew up in the 40s and 50s, for the first time in my life, I recognized, identified, and became a comic book hero.”

George Takei

“As a comics fan, I had a great time reading all the fabulous tales; as an Asian American comics professional, I am more than a little in awe of the amazing talent assembled here between these covers.”  

– Jim Lee, artist and founder of Wildstorm Comics

 

Shattered

ISBN: 9781595588241

Trade paperback - Winter 2012

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Three years after the publication of the groundbreaking Asian American comics anthology Secret Identities, the same team is back with a new volume—bigger, bolder, and more breathtaking in scope.

While the first collection focused on the conventions of superhero comics, this new book expands its horizon to include edgier genres, from hard-boiled pulp to horror, adventure, fantasy, and science fiction. Using this darker range of hues, it seeks to subvert—to shatter—the hidebound stereotypes that have obscured the Asian image since the earliest days of immigration: the stoic brute, the prodigious brain, the exotic temptress, the inscrutable alien, the devious manipulator. The eclectic and impressive lineup of contributors includes leading Asian American comics creators Bernard Chang (Supergirl), Sean Chen (Iron Man), Cliff Chiang (Wonder Woman), Larry Hama (G.I. Joe), Sonny Liew (Malinky Robot), Takeshi Miyazawa (Runaways), Christine Norrie (Hopeless Savages), Greg Pak (The Hulk), G.B. Tran (Vietnamerica), Gene Yang (American Born Chinese), and many others, as well as such film and literary standouts as Tanuj Chopra (Punching at the Sun), Michael Kang (The Motel), Jamie Ford (Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet), Gary Jackson (Missing You, Metropolis), and Bao Phi (Song I Sing). Their original graphic short stories cover topics from ethnic kiddie shows, China’s AIDS policy, and airline security procedures to the untold backstory of Flash Gordon’s nemesis Ming the Merciless and the gritty reality of a day in the life of a young Koreatown gangster.

Shattered incorporates thrills, chills, and delights while exposing the hidden issues and vital truths of the nation’s fastest-growing and most dynamic community.

 

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This second anthology of comics by Asian-American creators focuses on genres from science fiction to fantasy, superhero to historical, slice-of-life and more—a few stories stand out, and a prologue and epilogue tie some of the individual stories together, but the overall quality is uneven. Contributors include such mainstream mainstays as Cliff Chiang, Larry Hama, Sonny Liew, and Sean Chen. The more polished pieces are often a five-to-10-page introduction to a setting and new characters rather than a complete story with an ending.The variety of styles of art is impressive, with some influenced by American comics from all eras of the 20th century, some more evocative of manga, and some more cartoonish. Overall, the impression is more of a collection of portfolio pieces than a tightly edited anthology despite the talent on display. (Nov.)