Gail Tsukiyama's "The Samurai's Garden," published in June of 1996, has earned widespread praise for its depiction of lovers caught in the clash of cultures. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, "Gail Tsukiyama has crafted a stunning novel that unfolds as quietly and profusely as the seasons. Against the backdrop of wartime aggression, the characters of this memorable book find hope at the end of devastation, beauty lodged deep inside pain."
Tsukiyama is the author of five books about Chinese or Japanese culture and has written a number of short stories. She was born in San Francisco and now spends time between El Cerrito and the Napa Valley. Winner of the prestigious Academy of American Poets Award, her first book, "Women of the Silk," was published in 1991 to critical acclaim, launching her writing career.
Brentwood Librarian Leonard Roudman is enthusiastic about the selection of Tsukiyama's work: "It's a very good book and not too long (211 pages), so it's a fairly short read." The City Read Program is designed to encourage adult reading and helps the library fulfill its mission of serving Brentwood citizens with programs and reading content that stimulate and educate. Roudman said the City Read Program typically selects books in paperback written by Bay Area authors.
"The Samurai's Garden" can be checked out from the library at no charge - no library card is required. Once read, the book can be passed along to someone else. Each copy has a log on the inside where readers can record their names, and a bookmark is included that should be returned to the library after readers complete its flip side.
Copies of the City Read book can also be obtained in Brentwood at Peet's Coffee and Tea on Lone Tree Way, Gabby's Grind on First Street, Panama Bay Coffee on Balfour Road, Willy's Bagels & Blends on Second Street, the four libraries in Summerset subdivisions, Sylvia's Cafe on Oak Street and Starbucks stores on Sand Creek Road, Brentwood Boulevard and Balfour Road. Discovery Bay's Highway 4 Starbucks will also have copies.
A talk and reading by author Tsukiyama is planned for Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. in the Brentwood Community Center adjacent to the library at 751 Third St. The presentation, entitled "A Tapestry of Voices," is sponsored by The Friends of the Brentwood Library and the Brentwood Arts Commission.
For more information about City Read or the library's various programs, call 634-4101. Library hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday; closed on Sunday.