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Gail Tsukiyama Books In Order

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Publication Order of Women of the Silk Books

Women of the Silk (1991)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Language of Threads (1999)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Samurai's Garden (1994)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Night of Many Dreams (1998)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dreaming Water (2002)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Street of a Thousand Blossoms (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Hundred Flowers (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Color of Air (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

author of the “Women of the Silk” series of novels.
Tsukiyama would earn several awards over the years including an Asia Pacific Leadership Award from the Ricci Institute and the Center of the Pacific Rim and a Literary Excellence Award from the Oakland/PEN Josephine Miles institution.

Gail has taught at Mills College, San Francisco State University, Berkeley and the University of California. She has also worked for “Ms Magazine” and the “San Francisco Chronicle” as a freelance book reviewer.

As a teenager, she graduated from the San Francisco State University first with a bachelors in Arts and then a masters degree in English majoring in Creative Writing. She has said that during her college years she was obsessed with poetry and hence much of her college writing was poems.

In September 2001, Gail Tsukiyama was honored by the Library of Congress as she made the list of fifty authors that participated in the inaugural National Book Festival in the American capital. After winning several awards, she decided to shift her focus from poetry and started writing tightly woven lyrical stories.
She has also been invited to speak at various writer events including the Vancouver International Writers Festival, the Hong Kong International Literary Festival, the International Festival of Writers in Toronto and the Sydney Writers Festival.

Ever since she published “Women of Silk,” her debut in 1999 she has gone on to write several novels and also has an ongoing historical fiction series. Aside from her writing, she also works for non-profit organization WaterBridge Outreach as an Executive Director.
The organization was founded to enhance access to water and books in developing countries.

The author was born in San Francisco to a Japanese father from Hawaii and a Chinese mother from Hong Kong.
The Samurai Garden which was the first novel by Gail Tsukiyama was inspired by her interest in the Japanese heritage she got from her father. She also wanted to write the story as a gift to her mother who was just as interested in Japanese culture as she was.

As a Chinese citizen from Hong Kong, she was a notable artist that left quite an imprint in her daughter with her art works. Gail has said that the visual aspects of her work can be attributed to her mother, working in unfamiliar cultures and her love for film.

She is a joyful and intentional author whether she is putting her feet up, speaking, puttering her garden, teaching, researching writing or reading. Whenever she gives interviews from her home in Napa Valley, she comes across as a delighted, alive, energetic and bright person.

Gail Tsukiyama’s novel “The Samurai’s Garden” is a gentle and touching novel that is full; of Japanese culture. The lead is Stephen, a young Chinese man who is sent to a small Japanese town where his family owns a vacation home to recover from a bout of tuberculosis.

At the vacation home the young man spends much of his time with Matsu the caretaker who is the creator of some unbelievably serene gardens. The caretaker is a quiet man that surprisingly has hidden depths of wisdom.

In addition to the gardens, he also takes care of Sachi, an older woman who was consigned to a leper colony since they were teenagers. Sachi and Matsu are devoted to each other even in the face of tough circumstances.

Set during the Japanese invasion of China in 1937 and 1938, it is a beautiful story that tells of how Stephen meets his first love who is a Chinese girl, even as occasional letters and radio reports tell of the advancing Japanese.

“Women of Silk” by Gail Tsukiyama is a historical fiction work set in early twentieth century China. It tells of the unique circumstances of the women that had to work hard to help their families earn a living before they got married.

The lead is a nine year old child named Pei whose father is a struggling farmer who decides that she would be better off living with her Auntie Yee in a village that is home to several silk factories.

All along she thought she was just visiting with her father and by the time she realized what was happening it was too late as her father had already left. While she is heartbroken about being left behind she ultimately comes to enjoy the friendship and kindness of the other girls in the house and learns to enjoy working at the silk factory.
She soon comes to view the women and girls at her aunt’s place as her new family. The author showcases the young women’s unexpected determination and strength as they navigate living in a culture that provides meager opportunities for women.

She explores the independence forced on them, which would eventually become one of the most treasured assets. The novel comes to a close just as the Japanese invade and end their life as they knew it and Pei and another young woman are forced to move on.

Gail Tsukiyama’s “The Language of Threads” is a great follow up to the debut in the series. Just like her first two novels, Gail showcases her expertise in the exploration of the lives of Chinese women and Chinese culture.
After her life was disrupted in the previous novel, Pei leaves mainland China and heads to Hong Kong, which has yet to feel the effects of the Japanese invasion. She has brought with her a young orphan named Ji Shen and the two work for a wealthy Chinese family as domestic workers before they find a better gig with an Englishwoman.

But it is not long before the Japanese invade their new home and Ji Shen and Pei are once again in dire straits. They live a difficult life for several years until the Japanese leave and they at last get to enjoy a more prosperous life.

It is a beautiful story that explores what life was for many Chinese during and after the Second World War. It was a difficult life but the women banded together to shelter and provide for each other.

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