Women of the Silk
By (author) Gail Tsukiyama
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Women of the Silk by Gail Tsukiyama
Book DescriptionIn "Women of the Silk" Gail Tsukiyama takes her readers back to rural China in 1926, where a group of women forge a sisterhood amidst the reeling machines that reverberate and clamor in a vast silk factory from dawn to dusk. Leading the first strike the village has ever seen, the young women use the strength of their ambition, dreams, and friendship to achieve the freedom they could never have hoped for on their own. Tsukiyama's graceful prose weaves the details of "the silk work" and Chinese village life into a story of courage and strength.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780312099435
(210mm x 139mm x 19mm)
Imprint: St Martin's Press
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Publish Date: 16-Nov-2000
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Gail Tsukiyama
Hundred Flowers, Paperback (September 2013)
China, 1957. Chairman Mao has declared a new openness in society: "Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend." Kai Ying's husband, Sheng, a teacher, has promised not to jeopardize their safety or that of their young son, Tao. But one July morning, Tao watches helplessly as Sheng is dragged away for writing a letter...
Street of a Thousand Blossoms, Paperback (September 2008)
Japan, 1939. Two orphaned brothers are growing up with grandparents who inspire them to dream of a future firmly rooted in tradition. The older boy, Hiroshi, shows signs of promise at sumo wrestling, while Kenji is fascinated by the art of Noh Theatre masks. But as the ripples of war spread, the brothers must put their dreams on hold.
Dreaming Water, Paperback (May 2003)
Set in California, this is the poignant story of Cate and her daughter Hana. Hana has Werner's Syndrome, a disease which speeds ageing to twice the normal rate, so although she is 38, Hana looks 80. The lives of the two are quiet and dignified, until Laura, Hana's former schoolfriend, shows up.
Language of Threads, Paperback (February 2001)» View all books by Gail Tsukiyama
Pei leaves the silk house for Hong Kong in the 1930s, arriving with a young orphan, Ji Shen, in her care. Her first job ends in disgrace, but soon Pei and Ji Shen find a new life, until their world is torn apart by the war and the Japanese occupation.
US Kirkus Review » Strangely stiff and predictable coming-of-age debut novel about a young Chinese girl's hardships in early-20th-century China. Protagonist Pei is Tsukiyama's rather lifeless exemplar of the difficult lives of Chinese women throughout history. Born into a typically patriarchal peasant family dominated by a cold father who undervalues women's lives, the adolescent Pei is sent off to a silk farm after a fortuneteller predicts she will be a "nonmarrying" (hence nonproductive) adult. In Yung Kee Village, Pei works alongside other Chinese girls and women similarly victimized. Many have been ousted from families for refusing arranged marriages; others have chosen family exile as a means of self-determination. Under the supervision of the warm, matriarchal Auntie Yee, these women form friendships emblematic of their new independence. Their nurturing community is initially untouched by the war with Japan raging miles away, and Pei is fascinated when some of her friends choose to enter a "hairdressing" ceremony and swear off marriage forever. But hardships intervene: monsoons, isolation, a strike, the war, and eventually fire and death disrupt the female commune. Pei returns home briefly to become reconciled with her parents, then symbolically sets off at novel's end on a voyage for freedom and independence. Unfortunately, Tsukiyama's narrative limps methodically from incident to incident; the book is more descriptive than dramatic - it feels like an outline, not a novel - and Pei is too passive and unchanging a character to make the life-affirming ending resonate. Readers looking for a stirring story about Asian women's lives would be better off trying Sky Lee's Disappearing Moon Cafe (see above). (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Gail Tsukiyama
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, The Language of Threads," "The Samurai's Garden," and "Night of Many Dreams."
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