Here you will find my currently published books, links to my other writings, and links to work by my current and former students.
The Floating World
A fever dream set in Tokyo’s night world, The Floating World tells the story of a young American dancer losing herself as she surrenders to the seductions of a foreign culture.
“Read this beautiful novel slowly, the way you would eat a ripe pear. The results are the same: a delightful nourishment that engages all the senses.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
I was honored when a reader created an artisanal tea blend inspired by The Floating World.
The Demimonde in Japanese Literature: Sexuality and the Literary Karyukai
Japan’s pleasure quarters, or karyukai, flourished for centuries, inspiring codes of etiquette, beauty standards, fashion and other cultural trends, and some of the national literature’s canonical works. By the mid-twentieth century, the physical space of the pleasure quarters had been decimated, first by World War II and then by the outlawing of prostitution in 1956, but its dying world continues to be immortalized in some of Japan’s most exciting books, films, and art works.
This academic monograph surveys a variety of texts from modern Japanese and world literature that celebrate the last gasps of the demimonde, along with avant-garde films, dance performances, and photographs. Including material previously not translated into English, The Demimonde in Japanese Literature explores some of the most notorious, erotic, and fiendishly subversive masterworks of the twentieth century.
Copyright © Cynthia Gralla, 2017
“The Tender Narration of Flowers” was published by Michigan Quarterly Review in their summer 2022 print issue:
“Double Bind” was published by SLICE in May 2022 in their Levity online issue:
“Friendship: A Haiku” was published in print issue #61 of Ruminate Magazine and as a teaser for the issue on their website: https://www.ruminatemagazine.com/blogs/ruminate-magazine/friendship-a-haiku
“I’m Your iPhone, and Yes, I’m Judging You”: https://theoffingmag.com/wit-tea/im-your-iphone-and-yes-im-judging-you/
“Second Acts in Creative Lives”: https://www.thesunlightpress.com/2022/01/09/second-acts-in-creative-lives/
“A Woman in Trouble: My Life and Illnesses Filtered through Twin Peaks”: https://witness.blackmountaininstitute.org/issues/spring-2021/. Note: this is a link to a print edition; it is not available online.
“Fiction and Memoirs Were Covering Health Way Before the Pandemic”: https://theconversation.com/fiction-and-memoirs-were-covering-health-way-before-the-pandemic-150279
“The Man in White Underwear Thinks I’m Crazy”: https://therealstory.org/2020/02/21/the-man-in-white-underwear-thinks-im-crazy-by-cynthia-gralla
“Olga Tokarczuk and Polish Literature’s Home Army”: https://www.asymptotejournal.com/blog/2019/11/04/olga-tokarczuk-and-polish-literatures-home-army/
“Literary Lists Are Records of Female Desire”: https://electricliterature.com/literary-lists-are-records-of-female-desire/
“Ten TV Shows Guaranteed to Get You Elected President or Prime Minister”: https://www.thesatirist.com/satires/ten-tv-shows-guaranteed-to-get-you-elected-president-or-prime-minister.html
“The Lost Voice”: http://storysouth.com/stories/the-lost-voice-a-florida-fairy-tale/
“How Women Writers Are Reinventing Freud”: https://electricliterature.com/how-women-writers-are-reinventing-freud-machado-yuknavitch-tokarczuk/
“The Harvest Festival”: https://www.octoberhillmagazine.com/archives
“The New National Literature of Canada Is Being Written by Women”: https://electricliterature.com/the-new-national-literature-of-canada-is-being-written-by-women/
“9 Fashionable Books That Make Clothes a Main Character”: https://electricliterature.com/9-fashionable-books-that-make-clothes-a-main-character/
“Case Study of a Psychiatrist in the Freudian Style”: https://www.thesatirist.com/satires/case-study-of-a-psychiatrist-in-the-freudian-style.html
“Kusama Yayoi: Pop Goes the Disease”: https://bodyliterature.com/2019/03/22/cynthiagralla/
“Suicide Contagion and the Risks of Literature”: https://medium.com/the-coil/suicide-contagion-and-the-risks-of-literature-cynthia-gralla-413f0e3fe483?source=friends_link&sk=21d1a546348e33bf333212f8b6439628
“Dream Girls Gotta Have Agency”: https://electricliterature.com/dream-girls-just-wanna-have-agency-f7bd4a695243
“Reading Sickness”: https://entropymag.org/reading-sickness/
My 2001 Articles for Salon in Chinese: https://ca1lib.org/book/21334602/504f17