File Name: the hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet .zip
The story is told in two parallel storylines, one following year-old Henry Lee's experiences during the Second World War, and the other depicting Henry 44 years later as a widower with a college-aged son. The plot centers around the forced evacuation of Japanese Americans to internment camps ; the book depicts the pain and trauma of separation through the friendship of the Chinese-American Henry and his Japanese-American friend Keiko.
- "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" - ESL 152/192: Home
- Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel
- Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet
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Printer-friendly Cite. Bestselling novel by Jamie Ford about a doomed romance between a young Chinese American boy and a Japanese American girl in Seattle. The book begins in with the discovery of the belongings of thirty-seven Japanese American families in the basement of Seattle's Panama Hotel, where they had left them for safekeeping prior to their forced removal in The discovery plunges Henry Lee, a recently widowed Chinese American, back forty plus years to a budding romance between him and a Japanese American classmate, Keiko Okabe, when they were twelve and the only two non-white students at their elementary school.
Shunned or bullied by their classmates, they work together in the cafeteria and share a love of jazz, their first date coming at a nightclub where Henry's older friend and protector, Sheldon Thomas, plays. But Henry's father is an ardent Chinese nationalist, and Henry cannot tell his parents of his friendship. Henry helps Keiko and her family, agreeing to store some of their old family photos, leading to his parents' discovery of their friendship and his father's disowning of Henry.
He sees the Okabes off when they are sent to Puyallup and sees them on weekends when he lands a job at the mess hall there. He and Sheldon even visit Minidoka , and Henry and Keiko pledge to write to each other. The letters eventually dry up, but Henry can never forget Keiko even after his happy marriage to Ethel, a Chinese American. Author Jamie Ford was born in Eureka, California, to a Chinese American father and white mother, but grew up in Ashland, Oregon, until age twelve, then in the Seattle, Washington, area.
His great-grandfather had anglicized the family name to "Ford" soon after his migration in A successful graphic artist based in Montana, Ford was inspired to write the short story that would become Hotel by his father's stories of wearing an "I Am Chinese" button during World War II. The story was published in the prestigious literary journal Glimmer Train and subsequently extended into a novel that was purchased by Ballantine books in a "six-figure deal. According to a USA Today article, the book had spent 89 weeks in the top of the paper's bestseller list never going higher than 48, "signs of a book propelled by word-of-mouth recommendations, gradually passed on from reader to reader.
Ford's second novel, Songs of Willow Frost , which is set in prohibition era Seattle and centers of a twelve-year-old orphan searching for a Chinese American movie star whom he thinks might be his mother, was published in Reviewers praised the appeal of the love story, the historical setting, and the multi-ethnic storyline. Joanna M. Burkhardt wrote that that the novel " The result is a vivid picture of a confusing and critical time in American history.
Seattle of the s comes vividly alive, with a thriving jazz scene and a mix of cultures. Readers will see and feel the struggle between right and best as Japanese, Chinese, black and white bump, chafe and sometimes spontaneously combust under the strain of the constant fear of war. The popularity of the novel has inspired several spin-off projects. While there have been discussions about turning the book into a movie, author Ford told Rafu Shimpo media columnist George Johnston that those discussions all foundered over the issue of producers wanting to change the lead character from Chinese American to white, something Ford refuses to allow.
Finally, in , producers Diane Quon and Joseph Craig acquired the film rights to the book—along with executive producer George Takei, planning to go into production in with a script authored by Ford. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. This item has been made freely available in the Digital Library of Japanese American Incarceration , a collaborative project with Internet Archive.
Cooper, Julie. Random House. Lau, Alan Chong. Bridges, Josephine. The Asian Reporter , Dec. Jamie Ford has done his part, and done it brilliantly. The rest is up to us. Burkhardt, Joanna M. Library Journal , Oct.
Carstensen, Angela. School Library Journal , May , Clouther, Kevin. Booklist , Nov. Cummins, Ann. Kaneko, Lonny. International Examiner , Feb. Kirkus Reviews , Oct.
McCulloch, Alison. Pak, Samantha. Publisher's Weekly , Sept. Robinson, Ann. The Oregonian. Stein, Tammar. Upchurch, Michael. And the broad strokes with which he draws some of the story's minor characters detracts from its plausibility in certain passages. About the Incarceration Do Words Matter? Historical Timeline Map.
Authored by Brian Niiya , Densho. Reviews Bridges, Josephine. Burkhardt, Library Journal , Oct. On the characters: "The characters in the novel did strike me as a bit flat.
"Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" - ESL 152/192: Home
Sign up for our newsletters! The hotel in the title of Jamie Ford's debut novel is not just "on the corner of bitter and sweet"; it is also on the boundary between the predominantly Chinese and Japanese neighborhoods in Seattle. To outsiders, the demarcations between "Chinatown" and "Japantown" might not be readily apparent. But to those who lived there during World War II, they might as well have been two different countries. Henry Lee is swept back to those times by one evocative image, as, in , he stands outside the old Panama Hotel, which is undergoing renovations.
Printer-friendly Cite. Bestselling novel by Jamie Ford about a doomed romance between a young Chinese American boy and a Japanese American girl in Seattle. The book begins in with the discovery of the belongings of thirty-seven Japanese American families in the basement of Seattle's Panama Hotel, where they had left them for safekeeping prior to their forced removal in The discovery plunges Henry Lee, a recently widowed Chinese American, back forty plus years to a budding romance between him and a Japanese American classmate, Keiko Okabe, when they were twelve and the only two non-white students at their elementary school. Shunned or bullied by their classmates, they work together in the cafeteria and share a love of jazz, their first date coming at a nightclub where Henry's older friend and protector, Sheldon Thomas, plays. But Henry's father is an ardent Chinese nationalist, and Henry cannot tell his parents of his friendship.
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel
Keiko is a second-generation American; both her parents were born in the United States. Henry and Keiko bond over their shared love of jazz music. Not long after, many Japanese families begin to burn letters and family photos—anything that might cause the police to be suspicious of their loyalty to America.
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Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet
When the United States government orders all persons of Japanese ancestry to evacuate their homes and submit to voluntary internment, Keiko and her family are forced to leave Seattle and live in an internment camp in rural Idaho. Ask students to research which communities were most widely impacted by the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the issuance of this executive order. They may be surprised to learn that Japanese Americans were not the only community specifically targeted. Students will want to consider reasons why only Japanese Americans and, say, not Italian Americans and German Americans, were forced into internment camps. In , President Ronald Reagan signed legislation that formally apologized for the U.
Old Henry Lee stood transfixed by all the commotion at the Panama Hotel. What had started as a crowd of curious onlookers eyeballing a television news.
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