Memoirs of A Geisha

Memoirs of A Geisha

Book - 1997
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An alluring tour de force: a brilliant debut novel told with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism as the true confessions of one of Japan's most celebrated geisha.  

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. 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, always elusive, is scorned as illusion.  

Sayuri's story begins in a poor fishing village in 1929, when, as a nine-year-old with unusual blue-gray eyes, she is taken from her home and sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house. Through her eyes, we see the decadent heart of Gion--the geisha district of Kyoto--with its marvelous teahouses and theaters, narrow back alleys, ornate temples, and artists' streets. And 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. But as World War II erupts and the geisha houses are forced to close, Sayuri, with little money and even less food, must reinvent herself all over again to find a rare kind of freedom on her own terms.

Memoirs of a Geisha is a book of nuances and vivid metaphor, of memorable characters rendered with humor and pathos. And though the story is rich with detail and a vast knowledge of history, it is the transparent, seductive voice of Sayuri that the reader remembers.

A dazzling literary achievement of empathy and grace by an extraordinary new writer.
Publisher: New York : Knopf, 1997
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780375400117
0375400117
Branch Call Number: FICTION Gol
Characteristics: 434 pages ; 25 cm

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s
SashaE
Jun 18, 2017

A beautiful book on the culture of Geishas. It was really good!!
It was beautifully written and was REAL not a sappy love story, but actually real.
It was great.

DCPL_Lisa Mar 15, 2017

A true page turner. If you love feeling like you really know a character, you will find Suriya fascinating. The book chronicles her life from a young child in a poor village where she was sold by her father and ends up being bought by a okiya, or a geisha house. The book is masterfully written to where you feel like you're right there with Suriya as she ages and learns the geisha way of life.

kisanet18 Aug 11, 2016

An interesting and historically accurate look at the Japanese culture of geishas.

m
MelHart1
Jan 13, 2015

This is one of my all time favourites. Very well written. It gives you an in depth understanding of a once secret world of a geisha.

z
ZRC92
Nov 17, 2014

A wonderful and accurate story that brings you into the world of a Japanese Geisha. Absolutely immersive with character that you will never forget! A+++

Chapel_Hill_KenMc Nov 11, 2014

Beautiful writing, careful attention to historical detail, a fascinating story with compelling characters. This novel has it all!

a
ABenoit
Sep 23, 2014

This was such a good book. I loved it. Really looking forward to seeing more of Golden in the fututre

bookfanatic1979 Jul 24, 2014

This is one of those books I’ve been meaning to read for a while and finally got around to it. An excellent fictional look into the secret lives of geisha. Makes me want to find a non-fiction book and learn more.

c
cherilynkai
Dec 31, 2013

Could not put it down. I had seen the movie and it was important to me to read the original writing. EXCELLENT book.

v
vwruleschick
Nov 05, 2013

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the story of Sayuri again (as I read this back when it was first released). You meet a child who has little, but it is enough. But circumstances bring her to Kyoto whereby she sees into the world of the geishas, their artistry, their demanding regiments (hair, shoes, presentation, arts, etc). Love how the author allows us to peak into their lives and how they are feeling, but also allows the outside world to seep in. Recommend.

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May 01, 2011

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heatherlynn Mar 14, 2008

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