Washington, D.C., May 2, 2016 — In her debut novel THE BOWL WITH GOLD SEAMS, acclaimed writer and literary critic Ellen Prentiss Campbell tells a moving, intimate story inspired by an unusual chapter in the history of the Bedford Springs Hotel in southern Pennsylvania. During the summer of 1945, the resort served as the detainment center for the Japanese ambassador to Berlin, his staff, and their families.
The novel tells Hazel Shaw’s story as a young Quaker woman working at the hotel among the Japanese, and the further story of the reverberating lifelong consequences of that experience. The final events of the war challenge Hazel’s beliefs about enemies and friends, victory and defeat, love and loyalty. In the ensuing years she remains haunted by memories. Long after the end of the war, an unexpected encounter brings Hazel back to the hotel and she must confront her past, come to terms with her present life, and determine her future. Like the precious bowl she is given, broken centuries before and mended with golden glue, Hazel comes to understand that “even that which is broken is beautiful.”
Note: While Campbell worked on the novel, the Bedford Springs Hotel, which had been closed for 30 years, was restored and reopened. Now owned by Omni, it is once again a thriving destination.
About the author: Ellen Prentiss Campbell is the author of the short story collection Contents Under Pressure (Broadkill River Press, 2016), which was nominated for the National Book Award. Her short fiction has been featured in numerous journals including The Massachusetts Review, The Potomac Review, and The MacGuffin. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The Fiction Writers Review, where she is a contributing editor, and The Washington Independent Review of Books. She lives in Washington, D.C., and summers in Manns Choice, PA, near the Bedford Springs Hotel.
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