Memoirs of a Geisha: A Novel <ul><li>By Arthur Golden </li></ul><ul><li>Published by Random House, Inc., 1999 </li></ul>
Speaking to readers 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, you 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 ridculed 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, the reader will 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. 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 memorable characters rendered with humor and pathos. And though the story is rich with detail and a vast knowledge of history, it is the voice of Sayuri that the reader remembers.
Media Reviews <ul><li> John Burnham Schwartz - The New Yorker There is a particular pleasure to be found in reading a novel that is sui generis and yet is imbued with subtle shadings of its literary predecessors this is a high-wire act. To protect himself against falling, the author has brought to his task a prodigious trove of research ... and an uncanny degree of empathy for ... a woman usually regarded in the West as either caricature or museum piece.... Rarely has a world so closed and foreign been evoked with such natural assurance </li></ul>
Media Reviews cont. <ul><li>Ann Beattie Wonderful, involving, intelligent, fascinating, and almost Dickensian in the way the characters inhabit the landscape, and the landscape permeates the characters. It's a unique, beautifully written book. </li></ul><ul><li> Pico Iyer I still can't quite believe that an American male can so seamlessly enter the soul of a Japanese woman, and catch her world, its textures, its hopes, and its sinuous patter with such perfection. Memoirs of a Geisha evokes all the delicate steel of Kyoto's geisha culture with such uncanny fidelity that, after you've finished, you feel as if you've entered not just another world, but an extraordinary and foreign heart. </li></ul>
Media Reviews cont. <ul><li>Julia Blackburn Sayuri tells her story with such gentle courtesy and determination that you are quickly brought under the spell of her character. She takes you by the hand and leads you into a world that is both formal and intimate, a world that I had only before glimpsed in the fleeting and beautiful images of traditional Japanese ink painting...Memoirs of a Geisha is a wonderful achievement. </li></ul><ul><li>Geraldine Brooks A haunting tale of a hidden world that could hold an audience spellbound through many an evening in a lantern-lit teahouse. </li></ul>
Media Reviews cont. <ul><li>Elinor Lipman Memoirs of a Geisha is a masterpiece. Every detail on this canvas is fascinating, even arresting, while at the same time the bigger portrait--the story, the truth told, a life revealed--is spellbinding. </li></ul>