Author will discuss his latest work, “The Many Daughters of Afong Moy”
Henrico County’s long-running literary event All Henrico Reads will return in 2023 to present a fascinating new novel that explores Chinese American history, intergenerational trauma, resilience, love and family. The event is sponsored by the Friends of Henrico County Public Library, Henrico County Public Library and Henrico County Public Schools.
Bestselling and award-winning Chinese American author Jamie Ford will appear at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 30 at J.R. Tucker High School, 2910 N. Parham Road, to discuss his newest work, which debuted on the New York Times Bestseller List in August, was selected as one of the Today Show’s Jenna Bush Hager Book Club “Read with Jenna” picks and is being adapted into a TV series.
Ford’s discussion will be followed by book sales and a signing. All Henrico Reads is free and open to the public, and no tickets are required. Ford also will make a daytime appearance with high school students to discuss his 2009 hit novel, the modern classic “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.”
In “The Many Daughters of Afong Moy,” former poet laureate Dorothy Moy has earned acclaim by channeling her mental health struggles into her art. But when her 5-year-old daughter exhibits similar signs of illness, Dorothy seeks radical help. Through an experimental treatment designed to mitigate inherited trauma, Dorothy connects with past generations of women in her family: Faye Moy, a nurse in China serving with the Flying Tigers; Zoe Moy, a student in England at a famous school with no rules; Lai King Moy, a girl quarantined in San Francisco during a plague epidemic; Greta Moy, a tech executive with a unique dating app; and Afong Moy, the first Chinese woman to set foot in America. Undertaking great risk for the possibility of healing and love, Dorothy endeavors to break the cycle of pain and find peace for her daughter.
“We are honored to have Jamie Ford as our author for All Henrico Reads and to welcome our enthusiastic community of readers at J.R. Tucker High School in 2023,” Library Director Barbara Weedman said. “We are grateful to our Friends of Henrico County Public Library and Henrico County Public Schools for our wonderful and enduring partnership that makes this exciting event possible each year. We hope you will come out and enjoy a great evening with us.”
Ford is the great-grandson of Nevada mining pioneer Min Chung, who emigrated from Hoiping, China to San Francisco in 1865, where he adopted the western name “Ford.” “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” was Ford’s debut novel. It spent 2½ years on the New York Times bestseller list, eventually winning the 2010 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. His work is renowned worldwide and has been translated into 35 languages.
The All Henrico Reads planning committee is especially thankful to the Asian American Society of Central Virginia (AASoCV), which has partnered with the Library to promote the event and co-host a panel discussion in May, which will continue discussion of some of the themes from this year’s featured title. The panelists, all recent immigrants to the United States from Asia and beyond, are featured in a book published by the AASoCV, “Portraits of Immigrant Voices.” The panel discussion will take place at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 22 at Tuckahoe Area Library, 1901 Starling Drive. More information on this and other programs, including book discussions, related to the All Henrico Reads title and its themes is available at henricolibrary.org/ahr.