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Memoirs of a Geishaby Arthur Golden
Synopses & Reviews
A literary sensation and runaway bestseller, this brilliant debut novel tells with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of Japan's most celebrated geisha.
Speaking to us with the wisdom of age and in a voice at once haunting and startlingly immediate, Nitta Sayuri tells the story of her life as a geisha. It begins in a poor fishing village in 1929, when, as a nine-year-old girl with unusual blue-gray eyes, she is taken from her home and sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house. We witness her transformation as she learns the rigorous arts of the geisha: dance and music; wearing kimono, elaborate makeup, and hair; pouring sake to reveal just a touch of inner wrist; competing with a jealous rival for men's solicitude and the money that goes with it.
In Memoirs of a Geisha, we enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl's virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as illusion. It is a unique and triumphant work of fiction—at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful—and completely unforgettable.
"A fascinating, poignant and entirely believable tale, as delicate, intricate and beautiful as the silk kimonos so central to the story....This is a luxurious book, every page fat with evocative, beautiful words....If life is a simple stream, Memoirs of a Geisha is a shimmering pebble that makes the water dance." The Toronto Sun
"A truly engrossing story. The reader suffers, triumphs, dreams and doubts with the heroine, all the way through....Beautifully written." Sunday Express
"Exceptional....This is one of those rare novels that evokes a vanished world with absolute conviction." Daily Mail
About the Author
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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