The Many Daughters of Afong Moy (Large Print / Library Binding)

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Staff Reviews

In his latest novel, the author of HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET, explores the concept of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance -- the idea that the effects of significant events (trauma, great love) in a person's life may be passed on to subsequent generations in the form of subconscious memory. Beginning with the story of Afong Moy, purportedly the first Chinese woman to come to the United States in 1834, who became a famous novelty, he imagines the stories of several generations of her progeny: Chinese immigrants in the hold of a ship, a student at the famous Summerhill School in England in the '20s, a Chinese-American nurse in World War II China, a business owner in contemporary Seattle). The narratives go back and forth in time up to the near future when Dorothy My undergoes epigenetic treatment to help her deal with the burdens of the past that she inherited. Ford is a self-admitted romantic, so most of the stories have a romantic aspect along with the traumatic events.

— Alice

August 2022 Indie Next List

“Jamie Ford explores the relationship of mind, spirit, and personal history in this gorgeous, multigenerational novel. The descendants of Afong Moy dig into their inherited pasts with astonishing results. A hopeful, beautiful read!”
— Beth Mynhier, Lake Forest Book Store, Lake Forest, IL


The New York Times bestselling author of the "mesmerizing and evocative" (Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants) Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet returns with a powerful exploration of the love that binds one family across the generations.

Dorothy Moy breaks her own heart for a living.

As Washington's former poet laureate, that's how she describes channeling her dissociative episodes and mental health struggles into her art. But when her five-year-old daughter exhibits similar behavior and begins remembering things from the lives of their ancestors, Dorothy believes the past has truly come to haunt her. Fearing that her child is predestined to endure the same debilitating depression that has marked her own life, Dorothy seeks radical help.

Through an experimental treatment designed to mitigate inherited trauma, Dorothy intimately 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.

As painful recollections affect her present life, Dorothy discovers that trauma isn't the only thing she's inherited. A stranger is searching for her in each time period. A stranger who's loved her through all of her genetic memories. Dorothy endeavors to break the cycle of pain and abandonment, to finally find peace for her daughter, and gain the love that has long been waiting, knowing she may pay the ultimate price.

About the Author

Jamie 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, thus confusing countless generations. His debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list and went on to win the 2010 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. His work has been translated into thirty-five languages. Having grown up in Seattle, he now lives in Montana with his wife and a one-eyed pug.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781432897604
ISBN-10: 1432897608
Large Print: Yes
Publisher: Thorndike Press Large Print
Publication Date: July 27th, 2022
Pages: 609
Language: English