Monday, October 09, 2006

[Book Review] MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA by Arthur Golden


Jeanie Condo reviews MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA: A Novel by Arthur Golden (Knopf, 1997):

I think you'll enjoy reading this wonderful book. It is a beautifully written novel by an excellent story teller who spent years researching and developing his tale. It's the story of Nitta Sayuri, one of the most prominent of the Japanese geishas. At the tender age of nine, Sayuri, then called Chiyo, was plucked from her family in a fishing village and sold into slavery to train to be a geisha in decadent Gion, the geisha district of Kyoto. She is trained in the arts to entertain gentlemen and endures a great deal of the cruelty. There is a ray of hope: a man known as the Chairman who was once kind to her. Beginning in the years prior to World War II, this is the saga of Sayuri’s life and what destiny holds for her. Although Memoirs of A Geisha is not a tear jerker, I did feel a lot of compassion for the heroine.

Why you'll love it!: beautiful writing, exquisite metaphors, and humor; the opportunity to learn about geishas and 20th century Japan.

Jeanie Condo, East Shelby Branch Library

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I saw the movie on DVD recently, and it left me with the feeling that you really need to read the book first. I see where the Central Readers' Club is featuring it this month, so I'll read it to fill in what the movie left out.
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