Memoirs of a Geisha

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Nov 9, 1999 - Fiction - 448 pages
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.

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

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.
 

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User Review  - electrascaife - LibraryThing

Historical fiction about the life of a geisha in Japan starting with her childhood and moving through her training and the turns her life takes through WWII and beyond. I enjoyed the story quite a bit ... Read full review

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User Review  - PaulaGalvan - LibraryThing

I picked up this paperback at the L.A. book fair because I have always been curious about the Geishas. The book was entertaining and informative, but also dashed all my romantic notions about these ... Read full review

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About the author (1999)

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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