“Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” book signing 11/19

15 Nov

WHO: Jamie Ford, author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
WHAT: Author’s talk and book signing
WHERE: Main Library, 1102 Tacoma Avenue South (Olympic Room)
Monday, November 19 at 7 pm
Seating is limited and on a space-available basis. Doors open at 6 pm

Jamie Ford, author of the bestselling novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, will give an author’s talk and reading on November 19 at the Tacoma Public Library (Main Branch). Set in Seattle’s Japantown during one of the most conflicted and volatile times in American history, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a story of commitment and hope during wartime.

The book’s setting will be familiar to readers who have visited the real-life teahouse at Seattle’s Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Japantown. In Ford’s novel, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the hotel which has been boarded up for decades. But now the new owner has made a remarkable 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 unlocking a flood of memories.

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 find a bond that transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors.

Fans of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet may want to visit the real thing – the beautifully restored Panama Hotel and tea shop (there is a window cut into the floor of the tea shop that actually shows the hotel’s undisturbed basement bathhouse filled with historic artifacts) at 607 South Main in Seattle.

Seating is limited for this event; doors open at 6 pm. Books will be available for purchase and signing.


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