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Random House Publishing Group, Fall 2018

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Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
By (author): Jamie Ford
9780345505347 Paperback, Trade English General Trade FICTION / Literary Oct 06, 2009
$23.00 CAD
Active 5.15 x 7.96 x 0.72 in 368 pages MAP FOR 10TH ANNIV. REISSUE Ballantine Ballantine Books
This 10th Anniversary special edition of the million-copy bestseller now features new bonus material.

A memorable novel about love, loss, and coming of age in Seattle for a Chinese boy and his best friend (and first love), a Japanese girl, against the backdrop of World War II.

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 Japanes 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.

Story Locale: Seattle, WA

Publication History: Ballantine HC (1/09); Ballantine TR (10/09)


BONUS MATERIAL: This edition features brand new content, including a short story from main character Keiko’s perspective, an interview with Mae Yanagi (the little girl in the front photo), and a map of of key locations in the book: Seattle, to Camp Harmony, to Minidoka.

BESTSELLER: With over 1.5 million copies sold to date, this instant hit was on the The New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Indie Bound and several regional bestseller lists and continues to sell well over 20,000 copies each year.

OPTIONED TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE: The film rights have been acquired by producers Diane Quon, Joseph Craig and George Takei. The screenplay will be cowritten by Jamie Ford and it is set to enter production in 2018.

TIE-IN POTENTIAL: Jamie Ford’s latest, Love and Other Consolation Prizes, will hit bookstores in trade paperback 6/19.

AWARD WINNER: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is the recipient of the esteemed Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature and was a Washington State Book Award finalist.

A PERFECT BOOK CLUB READ: Both the intergenerational story—of Henry and his father in the 1940s narrative and of Henry and his son in the 1980s narrative—as well as the “taboo” love affair at the novel’s heart will provide readers and book clubs with lots of material to discuss.

BASED ON REAL HISTORY: The novel chronicles the internment of the Japanese taken from Seattle as well as the conflict between both whites and Asians, and Japanese and Chinese, based in history and beautifully evoked here. Jamie Ford also drew on some of his own family’s history for this novel.

The son of a Chinese American father, JAMIE FORD is the New York Times bestselling author of Love and Other Consolation Prizes, Songs of Willow Frost, and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, which won the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. Having grown up in Seattle, he now lives in Montana with his wife and children.

Author Residence: Great Falls, Montana

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Publicity: National media attention

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“An impressive, bitter, and sweet debut that explores the age-old conflicts between father and son, the beauty and sadness of what happened to Japanese Americans in the Seattle era during World War II, and the depths and longing of deep-heart love.”—Lisa See

“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. This is a beautifully written book that will make you think. And, more important, it will make you feel.”—Garth Stein, bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain

“Mesmerizing and evocative, a tale of conflicted loyalties and timeless devotion.”—Sara Gruen, bestselling 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

“A poignant story that transports the reader back in time…a satisfying and heart-wrenching tale.”Deseret Morning News

“A lovely combination of romantic coincidence, historic detail and realism that is smooth and highly readable…Ford does wonderful work in re-creating prewar Seattle.”The Oregonian

“Heartfelt…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

“Ford’s story of an innocent passion across racial barriers—and of the life of a man who forsook the girl he loved—is told with an artistic technique that makes emotion inevitable.”—Louis B. Jones

“A beautiful and tender masterpiece…a book everyone will be talking about, and the best book you’ll read this year.”—Anne Frasier

“A heartwarming story of fathers and sons, first loves, fate, and the resilient human heart…marvelously evocative.”—Jim Tomlinson

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