Gail Tsukiyama was born in San Francisco, California to a Chinese mother from Hong Kong and a Japanese father from Hawaii. She attended San Francisco State University where she received both her Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Master of Arts Degree in English with the emphasis in Creative Writing. Most of her college work was focused on poetry. She was the recipient of the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Literary Excellence and was the first author to receive the Asia Pacific Leadership Award from the Center of the Pacific Rim and the Ricci Institute. A resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, she has taught at San Francisco State University, University of California, Berkeley and Mills College. She has also been a freelance book reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle and Ms Magazine.
In September of 2001, she was one of fifty authors chosen by the Library of Congress to participate in the first National Book Festival in Washington D.C. and has been guest speaker at the Hong Kong International Literary Festival, the Sydney Writers Festival, The International Festival of Writers in Toronto and the Vancouver International Writers Festival.
She is the author of seven novels published by St. Martin's Press, including Women of the Silk, The Samurai's Garden, Night of Many Dreams, The Language of Threads, Dreaming Water, The Street of a Thousand Blossoms, and A Hundred Flowers. Her latest novel, The Brightest Star, will be out by HarperVia in June 2023.
Gail is also currently the Executive Director of WaterBridge Outreach: Books + Water, a nonprofit organization that provides books and access to water in developing countries.