Cynthia’s previous books are The Floating World, a dreamlike novel set in Tokyo and published by Ballantine, and The Demimonde in Japanese Literature: Sexuality and the Literary Karyukai, an academic monograph from Cambria Press. She has written multiple articles for Salon and Electric Literature and has contributed fiction and nonfiction to The Mississippi Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Asymptote Journal, storySouth, The Conversation, The Antigonish Review, Sonora Review, Room, SLICE, Ruminate, Iron Horse Literary Review, Witness, B O D Y, The Offing, The Satirist, October Hill Magazine, the Adventures in Bodily Autonomy short story anthology, and other publications. She also produces and hosts the podcast, A Real Affliction: BPD, Culture, and Stigma.
Her current projects are The Snow Queen, a literary historical novel; Environmental Causes, an essay collection; and Bunny Boiler: Surviving Borderline Personality Disorder and Finding a Self to Love, a memoir about living with the disease. For The Snow Queen, she received a Fulbright grant to conduct research in Poland about two distant cousins, Helena Marusarzówna and Stanisław Marusarz, who served as ski couriers in the Polish resistance during World War II.
Cynthia holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley, for which she studied twentieth-century literature in Japanese, English, and Spanish. She earned her B.A. in Asian Studies from Amherst College. She has taught literature and creative writing at Berkeley and the International College of Liberal Arts in Kofu, Japan.
Born in Boston and raised in Massachusetts and Florida, Cynthia has lived in four countries and traveled widely. In addition to writing and teaching, she has worked as an editor, a model, and a hostess in Tokyo nightclubs. She has a background in ballet, modern dance, butoh, and tango, and she has integrated dance elements into public readings for her own work and that of her students. She is a firm believer in the healing powers of writing, art, and education, a central theme of Bunny Boiler, The Snow Queen, and Environmental Causes.
Currently she lives with her husband in Victoria, British Columbia, and teaches writing and literature at Royal Roads University and the University of Victoria.