The Samurai's Garden

A Novel

Gail Tsukiyama

St. Martin's Griffin

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The daughter of a Chinese mother and a Japanese father, Tsukiyama uses the Japanese invasion of China during the late 1930s as a somber backdrop for her unusual story about a 20-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.

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Book Excerpts

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Samurai's Garden
AUTUMNTARUMI, JAPAN SEPTEMBER 15, 1937I wanted to find my own way, so this morning I persuaded may father to let me travel alone from his apartment in Kobe to my grandfather's beach house in Tarumi. It had taken me nearly two weeks to convince him--you would think I was a child, not a young man of twenty. It seems a small victory, but I've won so few in the past months that it means everything to me--perhaps even the beginning of my recovery. Just before leaving, I bought this book of Japanese parchment paper to record any other prizes I might be lucky enough to capture.

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Reviews

Praise for The Samurai's Garden

"Tsukiyama brings a fluid, smooth elegance to the complicated story she tells."The San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

"An exraordinary graceful and moving novel about goodness and beauty. Tsukiyama is a wise and spellbinding storytelling."Booklist

"Beautifully crafted . . . Tsukiyama's writing is crystalline and delicate, and notably in her evocative of time and place."Publishers Weekly

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About the Author

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, Women of the Silk, The Language of Threads, and Night of Many Dreams.

Gail Tsukiyama

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Samurai's Garden
A Novel
Gail Tsukiyama

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
April 1996
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312144074
ISBN10: 0312144075
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 224 pages
$14.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
June 2008
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429965149
ISBN10: 1429965142
224 pages
$9.99
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