Memoirs of a Geisha


Enjoy my latest book review!

Title: Memoirs of a Geisha
Author: Arthur, Golden
Publication Date: 1999
Time Period: Japan – 1920s to the 1940s.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 503

Plot Summary: Arthur Golden weaves a compelling story in this memoir about a poor girl Sayuri sold and taken to the big city and is forced into a kind of life she was totally unprepared for. She finds herself in the world of Geisha, and learns the Geisha trade where she eventually becomes one of the most desired Geisha in Japan. Told from a first person point of view, this book explores in detail the daily life of the Geisha, various stages of the Geisha training, the competitions, and rivalries among the Geisha and the ultimate sale of the Geisha’s virginity. Though leisurely paced, the reader is taken through twists and turns of the plot and is made to feel real sympathetic to the strong willed and determined Sayuri – who decides to go by the wishes of her heart rather than the dictates of the society. You find a lot of cultural elements and language that evokes a strong sense of place that depicts the culture and tradition of the Japanese in a very realistic fashion..

Read a-likes:

My Antonia by Carter, Willa
The whistling season by Doig, Ivan
The commoner by Schwartz, John Burnham

Non-fiction:

Autobiography of a Geisha by Masuda, Sayo
Japanland: a year in search of wa by Muller, Karin
Women of the pleasure quarters: the secret history of the geisha by Downer, Leslie

Memoirs of a Geisha was a compelling and rich story, however I didn’t care so much for the movie – any thoughts?

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