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Ford’s novel set for big screen

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (2009) is a bestselling novel by Jamie Ford about the love and friendship between Chinese American boy and a Japanese American girl in the World War Ⅱ era

by Bruce Rutledge

Novelist Jamie Ford could have sold the movie rights to his massive bestseller  Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet years ago. But he held out until he found a team he could trust. This fall he found that team: Diane Quon, Joseph Craig and George Takei. Quon bought the film rights in September.

“For years I said no to filmmakers who wanted to change too many things about the story (like the ethnicity of my main character),” Ford told Deadline when the story broke. “With this team, I’m confident that fans will get a satisfying film that remains true to the spirit of the book.”

Ford told the Angry Asian Man blog his demand was simple: “No whitewashing allowed.”

Takei will be the executive producer. He issued a statement saying how much Ford’s novel affected him: “The book tells an intimate love story that is, at once, poignant and sweeping with historic magnitude told against the backdrop of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. I was captivated by Jamie Ford’s novel when I first read it and visualized a compelling film in my mind’s eye. I saw the drama of enduring love despite governmental racism, the passage of time and the vicissitude of life.”

Ford is expected to write the screenplay, and production will begin as soon as 2018. No word yet on whether the movie will be filmed in the International District, where much of the novel is set.

Ford is currently on tour for his second novel, Love and Other Consolation Prizes, which is also set in Seattle and revolves around the city’s first World’s Fair in 1909.