Cover image for Night of many dreams
Night of many dreams
Tsukiyama, Gail.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
275 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


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After living through World War II with their parents in Macao, Joan and Emma Lew embark on separate quests to fulfill their disparate dreams, only to return home to their family during times of great sorrow and happiness.

Author Notes

Gail Tsukiyama was born in San Francisco, where she later pursued her B. A. and M. A. at San Francisco State University.

Tsukiyama is a lecturer at the San Francisco State University and a book reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Tsukiyama has written Night of Many Dreams, Women of the Silk, and The Samurai's Garden. She is also the recipient of an Academy of American Poets award.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In a story where the omniscient narrator moves the point of view among the family participants, and where time may shift years between chapters or linger over moments slow and sweet as honey, we view the world of Emma Lew of Hong Kong and, later, San Francisco; her older sister Joan; and their family from 1940 to 1965. The changing mores of Hong Kong society are the backdrop for the tender relationships among Emma, who longs for a wider world than her mother's ladies' lunches; Joan, who finds her place in the movies that have fed her dreams since childhood; Auntie Go, who pulls deeply against tradition by running her own business; and silent servant Foon, whose cooking forges a near-mystical familial bond. Particularly fine at evoking how scent and aroma can jog the memory and clutch at the heart, the tale grows in richness as it proceeds, a paean to the sustaining pleasures of family. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido

Library Journal Review

A work of historical fiction, Tsukiyama's (Samurai's Garden, LJ 2/15/95) latest novel contains several strong female characters. Set during the onset of the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong in 1940, it first introduces readers to sisters Joan and Emma Lew, ages 14 and nine. The girls, with their servant Foon and their mother's first cousin, Auntie Go, all live "privileged" lives together in Hong Kong until they decide to flee from the imposing Japanese and emigrate to Macao, leaving their father behind to watch the family home. At the war's end, the family returns to Hong Kong with the intention of rebuilding and reclaiming their lives. Culminating in the year 1965, this novel follows its characters through 15 years of growth, maturity, and self-discovery. The ending is a bit rushed, leaving the sisters' characters slightly underdeveloped (and perhaps allowing room for a sequel?). But because Tsukiyama writes with great sensory detail, allowing her reader to touch, taste, and feel the world she creates, the work does remain a satisfying read. Recommended for Asian American and larger fiction collections.¬ĎShirley N. Quan, Orange Cty. P.L., Fountain Valley, Cal. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.