Memoirs of a Geisha: A Novel

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Vintage Books, 2005 - Fiction - 434 pages
39 Reviews
Memoirs of A Geisha is an epic drama about the remote and shimmeringly exotic world of Sayuri, one of Japan's most celebrated geishas. The novel has been a beloved bestseller all over the world and is now set to become the major movie event of the year. The film stars Asia's most celebrated movie stars including Zhang Ziyi (House of Flying Daggers; Hero), Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai), Gong Li (Raise The Red Lantern), and Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon).
In this literary tour de force, novelist Arthur Golden enters a remote and shimmeringly exotic world. For the protagonist of this peerlessly observant first novel is Sayuri, one of Japan's most celebrated geisha, a woman who is both performer and courtesan, slave and goddess.

We follow Sayuri from her childhood in an impoverished fishing village, where in 1929, she is sold to a representative of a geisha house, who is drawn by the child's unusual blue-grey eyes. From there she is taken to Gion, the pleasure district of Kyoto. She is nine years old. In the years that follow, as she works to pay back the price of her purchase, Sayuri will be schooled in music and dance, learn to apply the geisha's elaborate makeup, wear elaborate kimono, and care for a coiffure so fragile that it requires a special pillow. She will also acquire a magnanimous tutor and a venomous rival. Surviving the intrigues of her trade and the upheavals of war, the resourceful Sayuri is a romantic heroine on the order of Jane Eyre and Scarlett O'Hara. And Memoirs of a Geisha is a triumphant work - suspenseful, and utterly persuasive.


From the Paperback edition.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jenn88 - LibraryThing

Now known by her geisha name, Sayuri tells a story of her childhood in her tipsy house; of friends and a certain enemy within the okiya; her struggles; of being a geisha before and after the second ... Read full review

LOVED IT!

User Review  - LisaLily2003 - Borders

I could not put this book down and read it in 2 days! I learned so much about the Japanese culture and fell in love with the main character. Couldn't wait to rent the movie afterwards but as usual, the book was wayyyyy better! Read full review

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Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15
Section 16
Section 17
Section 18
Section 19
Section 20

Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 21
Section 22
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Arthur Golden was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and was educated at Harvard College, where he received a degree in art history, specializing in Japanese art. In 1980 he earned an M.A. in Japanese history from Columbia University, where he also learned Mandarin Chinese. Following a summer at Beijing University, he worked in Tokyo, and, after returning to the United States, earned an M.A. in English from Boston University. He resides in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his wife and two children.

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