Montana Book Festival: Jamie Ford on taking risks in his new novel

Cory Walsh

Jamie Ford knew what book he wanted to write, he just wasn’t sure how risky it would be.

It’s a “more complex book than I’ve ever tried to write,” said Ford, whose best-selling debut, “Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” made the Great Falls author into a household name.

IF YOU GO

Jamie Ford will read on Sunday, Sept. 18, at the ZACC Show Room at 7 p.m. as part of the Montana Book Festival. Admission is included with an all-access button, or $5 for a single entry.

He thought that if “The Many Daughters of Afong Moy” didn’t connect with editors or readers, “it could be the end of my career” he said recently. Or perhaps it might be “a serious detour to nowhere.”

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The book revisits the tragic story of the first Chinese woman in America and spirals forward in time, imagining her descendants six generations into the future, and how they’ve been affected by inherited trauma.

While it has futuristic elements, its central character shows the historical research that flavored his prior novels, with an eye toward the Chinese-American experience.

“I like turning

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