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The result is a novel with the broad social canvas (and love of coincidence) of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen's intense attention to the nuances of erotic maneuvering. Readers experience the entire life of a geisha, from her origins as an orphaned fishing-village girl in 1929 to her triumphant auction of her mizuage (virginity) for a record price as a teenager to her reminiscent old age as the distinguished mistress of the powerful patron of her dreams. We discover that a geisha is more analogous to a Western "trophy wife" than to a prostitute--and, as in Austen, flat-out prostitution and early death is a woman's alternative to the repressive, arcane system of courtship. In simple, elegant prose, Golden puts us right in the tearoom with the geisha; we are there as she gracefully fights for her life in a social situation where careers are made or destroyed by a witticism, a too-revealing (or not revealing enough) glimpse of flesh under the kimono, or a vicious rumor spread by a rival "as cruel as a spider."
Golden's web is finely woven, but his book has a serious flaw: the geisha's true romance rings hollow--the love of her life is a symbol, not a character. Her villainous geisha nemesis is sharply drawn, but she would be more so if we got a deeper peek into the cause of her motiveless malignity--the plight all geisha share. Still, Golden has won the triple crown of fiction: he has created a plausible female protagonist in a vivid, now-vanished world, and he gloriously captures Japanese culture by expressing his thoughts in authentic Eastern metaphors. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Wonderful from beginning till end, it's a journey through the city of kyoto! It's a must read!Published 7 days ago by Eric Rodas
This truly an amazing book, nothing like I've ever read. This book tells a story of the life of a geisha named Sayuri. Read morePublished 16 days ago by mona
I seldom find myself so absorbed by the lives of secondary characters. This book related to me on many levels.Published 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
This book flows so well, even with its stressful and depressing moments. You can't wait to get to the end, but once you're there you are sad it's over.Published 18 days ago by A. Bartoszek
In the novel Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden we enter the world of the Geisha's Japan. We enter a world where appearance is everything and a Geisha's virginity is given to the... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Kelly