Author Profile

Jamie Ford

Jamie Ford

Jamie Ford is the great grandson of Nevada mining pioneer Min Chung, who emigrated from Kaiping, China, to San Francisco in 1865, where he adopted the western name “Ford,” thus confusing countless generations. His 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. His work has been translated into 34 languages. Jamie is still holding out for Klingon (that’s when you know you’ve made it).

New York Times bestselling author, Jamie Ford, brings us an outstanding novel you won’t soon forget – Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Ford’s half-Chinese descent lent him the idea for this powerful book about the World War II internment of Japanese Americans through the eyes of a young Chinese boy who befriends a Japanese American girl. 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.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet not only made the NYT list, but also was an IndieBound NEXT List Selection, a Barnes & Noble Book Club Selection, Pennie's Pick at Costco, a Target Bookmarked Club Pick, and a National Bestseller. It was named the #1 Book Club Pick for Fall 2009/Winter 2010 by the American Booksellers Association, and has been translated into 34 languages.

His 2nd novel, Songs of Willow Frost, is set against the backdrop of Depression-era Seattle. This historical novel is a powerful tale of a boy with dreams for his future, and a young woman escaping her haunted past. With many "teachable moments" imbedded throughout this story of hope, forgiveness, and reaching for your dreams, Songs of Willow Frost is a wonderful book for students.

Ford's third novel, Love and Other Consolation Prizes, is due in September 2017.

Ford graduated from the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. He is the proud father of two boys and two girls.

For more about Jamie and his works, go to

Reviews of Songs of Willow Frost

Arresting . . . You can't blame Willow for weeping, and you will likely weep along with her as you come to understand how she made the choices she did. . . . [Songs of Willow Frost has] the kind of ending readers always hope for, but seldom get
-- The Dallas Morning News

Ford crafts [a] beautiful, tender tale of love transcending the sins people perpetrate on one another and shows how the strength of our primal relationships is the best part of our human nature.
-- Great Falls Tribune

Reviews of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Mesmerizing and evocative, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a tale of conflicted loyalties, devotion, as well as a vibrant portrait of Seattle's Nihonmachi district in its heyday.
-- Sara Gruen, NYT bestselling author of Water for Elephants

Sentimental, heartfelt novel portrays two children separated during the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. In 1940s Seattle, ethnicities do not mix. Whites, blacks, Chinese and Japanese live in separate neighborhoods, and their children attend different schools. When Henry Lee's staunchly nationalistic father pins an “I am Chinese” button to his 12-year-old son's shirt and enrolls him in an all-white prep school, Henry finds himself friendless and at the mercy of schoolyard bullies. His salvation arrives in the form of Keiko, a Japanese girl with whom Henry forms an instant--and forbidden--bond. The occasionally sappy prose tends to overtly express subtleties that readers would be happier to glean for themselves, but the tender relationship between the two young people is moving. The older Henry, a recent widower living in 1980s Seattle, reflects in a series of flashbacks on his burgeoning romance with Keiko and its abrupt ending when her family was evacuated. A chance discovery of items left behind by Japanese-Americans during the evacuation inspires Henry to share his and Keiko's story with his own son, in hopes of preventing the dysfunctional parent-child relationship he experienced with his own father. The major problem here is that Henry's voice always sounds like that of a grown man, never quite like that of a child; the boy of the flashbacks is jarringly precocious and not entirely credible. Still, the exploration of Henry's changing relationship with his family and with Keiko will keep most readers turning pages while waiting for the story arc to come full circle, despite the overly flowery portrait of young love, cruel fate and unbreakable bonds. 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

Videos featuring Jamie Ford

Jamie Ford on "Songs of Willow Frost"

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

An Evening with Jamie Ford

Jamie Ford - One City One Book