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Gail Tsukiyama

Author of The Samurai's Garden

14 Works 6,827 Members 196 Reviews 24 Favorited

About the Author

Gail Tsukiyama was born in San Francisco, where she later pursued her B. A. and M. A. at San Francisco State University. Tsukiyama is a lecturer at the San Francisco State University and a book reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Tsukiyama has written Night of Many Dreams, Women of the Silk, show more and The Samurai's Garden. She is also the recipient of an Academy of American Poets award. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Gail Tsukiyama Photo by Mathew Spencer Wong

Works by Gail Tsukiyama

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Common Knowledge

Birthdate
1957
Gender
female
Nationality
USA
Birthplace
San Francisco, California, USA
Places of residence
El Cerrito, California, USA
Napa Valley, California, USA
Education
San Francisco State University (BA|English)
San Francisco State University (MA|English)
Occupations
author
freelance book reviewer
academic
Organizations
Literati Network of Authors
San Francisco State University (faculty)
University of California, Berkeley (faculty)
Awards and honors
Academy of American Poets Award
National Book Festival, Washington DC (2001)
Short biography
Gail Tsukiyama was born in San Francisco, her mother a Chinese immigrant, her father Japanese. This multicultural upbringing is reflected in the deeply personal stories about Chinese women which she has been writing since her first novel, WOMEN OF THE SILK, was published in 1991. Tsukiyama considers herself an examiner of what she calls the lives of "early Chinese feminists," as embodied by the silk workers in her first novel. She has also tackled the topics of the differences between Chinese and Japanese culture (THE SAMURAI'S GARDEN) and the daily struggles of young women growing up in World War II Hong Kong (NIGHT OF MANY DREAMS.) "It has given me a greater sense of who I am, just in realizing what these Chinese women silk workers went through in order to make a life for themselves."

Members

Reviews

Just beautiful. Atmospheric. Heartwarming and heartbreaking.
 
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kakadoo202 | 60 other reviews | Mar 12, 2024 |
Book on CD read by Simon Vance

In this novel, Tsukiyama turns her attention to the mid-to-late 1950s and Mao’s Cultural Revolution in China. The title refers to 1957, when Chairman Mao declared “Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend,” and encouraged China’s intellectuals, teachers, and scholars to voice their opinions openly. Of course, this was a trap.

The story focuses on the Lee family. Kai Ying’s husband, Sheng, a teacher, promised not to jeopardize his family’s safety, but he was still dragged away for writing a letter criticizing the Communist Party and sent to a labor camp to be “reeducated.” A year later their son, Tao, has an accident and breaks his leg. Kai Ying may be an herbalist who is sought out by neighbors for her many remedies, but no tea or poultice will fix this injury. Sheng’s father, Wei, who also lives with them, was once a renowned university professor, and he is obviously distraught by what has happened to his son and the family.

The family members do their best in difficult times to move forward, working, studying, helping friends and neighbors. They share what they can, but they cannot help but worry. The uncertainty is palpable. Yet, they face their circumstances with grace, dignity and courage.

Simon Vance voices the audiobook. He’s a talented narrator and I’ve enjoyed many of the audiobooks I’ve listened to him perform. But for this work, I could not help but hear his British voice and think “that’s not right.”
… (more)
 
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BookConcierge | 27 other reviews | Feb 23, 2024 |
A tender, sweet story that I didn't want to end. I will read another book by this author based on how much I enjoyed her characters in this book.
 
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empress49 | 60 other reviews | Dec 29, 2023 |
 
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kakadoo202 | 12 other reviews | Oct 12, 2023 |

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Statistics

Works
14
Members
6,827
Popularity
#3,579
Rating
3.9
Reviews
196
ISBNs
112
Languages
7
Favorited
24

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