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Best-selling author to visit Cloquet

Jamie Ford, author of New York Times bestseller "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet," will make a guest appearance at the Cloquet Public Library at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, April14. Ford's appearance is part of the areawide One Book, One Communi...

Jamie Ford, author of New York Times bestseller "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet," will make a guest appearance at the Cloquet Public Library at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, April14. Ford's appearance is part of the areawide One Book, One Community program for 2011, which has selected his book as this year's featured topic.

Reading guides for Ford's book are available at the Cloquet Public Library.

"Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" is an extraordinary story of commitment and enduring hope. Ford depicts the heartwarming friendship between Henry Lee and Keiko Okabe, a Chinese American boy and a Japanese American girl - both American citizens - whose ethnic backgrounds impact their destinies in drastically different ways during World War II. 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. In Keiko's absence, Henry must come to terms with what it means to be Chinese, an obedient son, a trustworthy friend, and a loyal

American.

Ford became interested in Chinese American history of the 1940s when his father mentioned a button he wore as a child that said "I am Chinese." This was worn to protect Chinese Americans from being put into the Japanese internment camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Ford also stumbled across articles on the Panama Hotel while researching news articles for another story.

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"Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" brings together actual events in American history with memorable fictional characters. The reader is drawn into the time period and can sense what life was like for Chinese Americans and Japanese Americans during World War II and can imagine life in the International District, including the Seattle jazz scene during the '40s. The Panama Hotel still exists with articles of its past collecting dust in its basement.

Among the One Book, One Community events scheduled for Cloquet are:

The Best of Jazz from the 1930s and '40s

Thursday, April 7, at 6:30 p.m.

Encore Performing Arts Center and Gallery

2035 S. Highway 33, Cloquet

Check out free tickets at the library to hear Twin Cities jazz singer Christine Rosholt and her band celebrate the best of jazz from the 1930s and 1940s.

The event is funded by the Minnesota Regional Public Library System (MRPLS) and the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) made possible by MRPLS's Arts and Cultural Heritage Funds.

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Brown Bag Lunch with Jamie Ford

Thursday, April 14, at 11:30 a.m.

Cloquet Public Library

302 14th Street, Cloquet

Bring your lunch and listen to Jamie Ford talk about his book, "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet." The Friends of the Cloquet Public Library will provide dessert and refreshments.

The event is funded in part by Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, Friends of the Cloquet Public Library, Friends of the Duluth Public Library, Duluth Library Foundation, and Arrowhead Reading Council.

For a complete listing of events, go to: http://www.duluth.lib.mn.us/Programs/Hotel/Events.html .

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