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Madame Sadayakko: The Geisha Who Bewitched the Westby Lesley Downer
Synopses & Reviews
A critically acclaimed author tells the enthralling true story of the real Madame Butterfly, a woman who became the most celebrated geisha in Japan and the first to tour the West.
At twenty-nine, she captivated the worl‛s stage. From San Francisco to New York, Paris, and Berlin, audiences thrilled to her mesmeric acting and exquisite dancing. She performed for the American President and for the Prince of Wales in London. Picasso painted her. Gide, Debussy, Degas, and Rodin were among her devoted fans. She was Sadayakko, Japa‛s most notorious geishaÂ—and its first international superstar.
In Italy, Puccini was working on Madame Butterfly. He had the plot for his opera, but he had yet to see a real live flesh-and-blood Japanese womanÂ—until Sadayakko arrived with her troupe of traveling actors.
Madame Sadayakko is the true story of this extraordinary womanÂ—muse to writers, artists, and fashion designers. Her adventures lift the veil on the secretive world of the geisha and reveal a missing piece of history from the turn of the last century, when Japanese women wore bustles and learned the waltz and women in the West wore Sadayakko kimonos.
Sadayakko was Japan's most notorious geisha--and its first international superstar. "Madame Sadayakko" is the true story of this extraordinary woman--muse to writers, artists, and fashion designers. Her adventures lift the veil on the secretive world of the geisha and reveal a missing piece of history from the turn of the last century.
About the Author
Lesley Downer is the author of On the Narrow Road, which was short-listed for the Thomas Cook Travel Book of the Year Award; The Brothers: The Hidden World of Japa‛s Richest Family, chosen as a New York Times Notable Book; and the highly acclaimed Women of the Pleasure Quarters. A frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal, Ms. Downer divides her time between London and New York.
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