Memoirs of a Geisha
by: Arthur Golden
Published by: Vintage Books
Buy From Amazon.com
Reviewed by Barb Rodmore
"But now I know that our world is no more permanent than a wave rising on an ocean. Whatever our struggles and triumphs, however we may suffer them, all too soon they bleed into wash, just like watery ink on paper."
And so ends this beautiful story of a woman, a time and a culture.
The story begins in a small fishing village where Chiyo lives with her stoic father and dying mother. Unbeknownst to her, her father sells her into slavery to a renowned Kyoto geisha house. There she transforms from the lost little girl with unique grey-blue eyes into the famed geisha, Sayuri. She trains from the age of nine in the arts of dancing, music and conversation for the sole purpose of pleasing men.
Based on historical fact and vividly written in the first person, this fictional woman tells of her life in beautiful kimonos at lavish parties with the rich and famous. But she also tells of virginity sold to the highest bidder, rivalry and treachery among geishas--and lost love.
This first novel's strength is its ability to take the reader right into the private world of the geisha in 1930s, pre-war Japan. Readers from the West are introduced to this exotic setting where women appear as both pampered slaves and accomplished performers.
The author's attention to well-researched detail is richly enhanced by his elegant prose. The current version of this best seller is tied into the upcoming movie based on the book. This is a novel that will translate perfectly onto the screen.
Armchair Interviews says: Memoirs of a Geisha will touch you in an intimate way.
From our armchair to yours...