The Language of Threads
By Gail Tsukiyama
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312203764, 288pp.)
Publication Date: September 1999
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Readers of Women of the Silk never forgot the moving, powerful story of Pei, brought to work in the silk house as a girl, grown into a quiet but determined young woman whose life is subject to cruel twists of fate, including the loss of her closest friend, Lin. Now we finally learn what happened to Pei, as she leaves the silk house for Hong Kong in the 1930s, arriving with a young orphan, Ji Shen, in her care. Her first job, in the home of a wealthy family, ends in disgrace, but soon Pei and Ji Shen find a new life in the home of Mrs. Finch, a British ex-patriate who welcomes them as the daughters she never had. Their idyllic life is interrupted, however, by war, and the Japanese occupation. Pei is once again forced to make her own way, struggling to survive and to keep her extended family alive as well. In this story of hardship and survival, Tsukiyama paints a portrait of women fighting the forces of war and time to make a life for themselves.
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 Samurai's Garden, and Night of Many Dreams.
"The Language of Threads is a delightful novel filled with adventure, surprise, and heart. The courageous women at its center are sure to captivate readers from all backgrounds."—Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, author of Mistress of Spices
"Tsukiyama's writing is richly descriptive and filled with historical detail . . . Recommended."—Shirley N. Quan, Orange County Public Library, Stanton, California, Library Journal
"In spare, evocative prose, Tsukiyama paints contrasting pictures of the bustling wealth of Hong Kong and its massive poverty . . . Women provide for each other in myriad ways in this world, and the relationships forged between them glow at the heart of Tsukiyama's story. Sisters are reunited, mothers and adopted daughters remain steadfastly loyal, childbirth breeds grief, but affirmation, too, and great friends even return from the dead to console their loved ones in this quiet but powerful effort from a writer who proves once again that she is an unusually gifted storyteller."—Publishers Weekly
"A saga of a Chinese woman in the WWII era and sequel to Women of the Silk . . . historically fascinating."—Kirkus Reviews