The Friends of The Princeton Public Library Book Club is reading The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama. Join them on Thursday, December 10th at 4:00pm to be a part of the discussion. The full review from Booklist follows: Tsukiyama is a mesmerizing storyteller who focuses on family, tradition, and the solace of nature and art. Of both Chinese and Japanese descent, she has explored the history and culture of both lands, here imagining life in Japan during its most catastrophic time as experienced by the orphaned brothers Hiroshi and Kenji.
Big, strong, and confident, Hiroshi believes he is destined to be a sumo wrestler. Slight, quiet, and artistic, Kenji discovers his love for mask making and Noh theater by accident. They each secure mentors, but just as the good brothers embark on their demanding apprenticeships, war breaks out. Tsukiyama’s spare prose reflects the clean-lined, distilled-to-the-essence aesthetic of Japanese art as she writes appreciatively and informatively about the arts of sumo and Noh, and piercingly about the horrific deprivations and tyranny of war, the firebombing of Tokyo, the American occupation, and the rapid evolution of modern Japan.
Tsukiyama’s historically detailed and plot-driven story of resilience, discipline, loyalty, and right action is popular fiction at its most intelligent, appealing, and rewarding.