Asian-Americans -- fiction
This month’s guest reader is New York Times bestselling author Jamie Ford. His novels plunge readers into the Pacific Northwest of decades past, as experienced by characters whose Asian heritage was a source of personal strength, even as it sometimes divided them from society.
Inspired by a Superhero’s Death
What makes a writer? In Jamie Ford’s case, he had known he wanted to tell stories for a long time. In an interview with Bill Kenower for the Pacific Northwest Writers Association, he explained that reading about Jean Gray’s (Phoenix/Dark Phoenix) death as a young man in X-Men #137 turned him on to deeper stories and their potential impact. He wasn’t the only one. After X-Men #137, people sent funeral wreaths to Marvel Comics’ headquarters in New York City, mourning Jean Gray. “Suddenly, characters for me had souls… Those characters were unforgettable.” And certainly timeless, as Marvel’s continued popularity at the box office proves.
Fredericksburg Branch, Tuesday, October 10, 7:00–8:30
Join us as we hear bestselling author Jamie Ford discuss his work. His novels include Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Songs of Willow Frost, and his new Love and Other Consolation Prizes. A question & answer session and book signing will follow. Copies of Love and Other Consolation Prizes will be sold for cash or check payment. Refreshments served. Sponsored by UMW Libraries.
About the Author:
Jamie Ford has worked themes from his Asian-American heritage into his books. Ford may not sound like an Asian name, but it was adopted by Jamie Ford's great-grandfather, Min Chung, who emigrated from Kaiping, China, to San Francisco in 1865. Taking the European name William Ford, Min Chung became a miner in Nevada.
Min Chung/William Ford's great-grandson Jamie Ford earned a degree in design from the Art Institute of Seattle and also attended Seattle’s School of Visual Concepts. He worked in advertising, first as an art director and later as a copywriter. On his own, he submitted short stories to writing contests and small literary venues and spent many of his vacations at writing conferences. In an interview on WordLily, Jamie explained that he began writing about Asian-American characters after his father died when he found he wanted to reconnect with his Chinese heritage.
Mr. Ford grew up in Oregon as well as in Washington State, a setting he would revisit in his works. Jamie Ford's first novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, spent two years on the New York Times' bestseller list, winning many awards, while it received much praise from both general readers and professional reviewers.
Mr. Ford shares some thoughts about his history, inspiration, and personal recommendations in our Guest Picks column.