Sep 062012

Memoirs of a GeishaMemoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Source: Local library
Links: Amazon, Goodreads

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.

This book was amazing. It is easy to see why it is considered a classic. It had a wonderful story-telling feel that seemed to come to life. I’m sure if I had listened to the audiobook it would have felt like Sayuri was sitting beside me telling me her story.

The writing was lyrical and beautiful. The ability of a debut American male writer to transport the reader to 1960s Japanese geisha life was incredible.

Reading this book was an experience I will not soon forget. This isn’t a very in depth review, but I feel like I can’t talk about the book without gushing, and would strongly recommend everyone read this book.

5 stars

Challenges read for:
2012 TBR list pick

  3 Responses to “Memoirs of a Geisha”

  1. I read this book over 10 years ago and LOVED it. It’s one of my all-time favorites. I own the book too b/c I like to keep books I especially enjoyed.

    I thought the movie was good too.

  2. You know I have not read this one yet. It does sound great!

  3. “Reading this book was an experience I will not soon forget.” This line here makes me want to read this book now. It’s been on my TBR list for a long time. I think it’s time that I bump it up.

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