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Memoirs of a Geisha Movie Tie Inby Arthur Golden
Synopses & Reviews
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 Trade Paperback edition.
"Arthur Golden's 1997 tale appealed to director Marshall (Chicago) for the same reasons it attracted millions of readers: because it 'not only peers into the fascinating and forbidden world of a geisha's life in 1930s Japan, but also tells the emotional tale of one particular girl's journey.' This accompanying volume to the forthcoming film based on the book will certainly enchant fans. In his introduction, Golden recalls how 'curious' it was for him to walk around a full-scale geisha district of the 1930s built on a field in California and know that such a detailed set grew out of his grueling experience writing the novel. A history of the geisha comes next, and then a portfolio of images from the film, some quite striking (such as the one of geisha practicing movements with fans, hair down, relaxed in their dressing robes and lit from behind). The book's final portion is devoted to the making of the film, with archival images of geisha, a concept illustration of a cherry-blossom-viewing party and notes on how, for example, the structural surfaces of the buildings on the set were sandblasted to add texture and age." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Wonderful, involving, intelligent, fascinating, and almost Dickensian in the way the characters inhabit the landscape, and the landscape permeates the characters. It's a unique, beautifully written book." Ann Beattie
"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
Golden's internationally bestselling literary tour de force is now the subject of Columbia Picture/DreamWorks's film adaptation, starring Ziyi Zhang ("House of Flying Daggers") and directed by Rob Marshall ("Chicago"), set for nationwide release on December 9.
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.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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