Author(s): Gail Tsukiyama
The daughter of a Chinese mother and a Japanese father, Gail Tsukiyama uses the Japanese invasion of China during the late 1930s as a somber backdrop for her unusual story about a twenty-year-old Chinese painter named Stephen who is sent to his family's summer home in a Japanese coastal village to recover from a bout with tuberculosis. Here he is cared for by Matsu, a reticent housekeeper and a master gardener. Over the course of a remarkable year, Stephen learns Matsu's secret and gains not only physical strength but also profound spiritual insight. Matsu is a samurai of the soul, a man devoted to doing good and finding beauty in a cruel and arbitrary world, and Stephen is a noble student, learning to appreciate Matsu's generous and nurturing way of life and to love Matsu's soulmate, gentle Sachi, a woman afflicted with leprosy.
Born to a Chinese mother and a Japanese father in San Francisco, Gail Tsukiyama now lives in El Cerrito, California. Her novels include "Dreaming Water, Women of the Silk," "The Language of Threads," and "Night of Many Dreams."