Memoirs of a Geisha: A Novel

October 18, 2019 - Comment

A literary sensation and runaway bestseller, this brilliant debut novel tells with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of Japan’s most celebrated geisha. Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read Speaking to us with the wisdom of age and in a voice at once haunting

A literary sensation and runaway bestseller, this brilliant debut novel tells with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of Japan’s most celebrated geisha.

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

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. It begins in a poor fishing village in 1929, when, as a nine-year-old girl with unusual blue-gray eyes, she is taken from her home and sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house. 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.

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 is scorned as illusion. It is a unique and triumphant work of fiction—at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful—and completely unforgettable.

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Comments

Anonymous says:

My favorite book! No, really, it is. I will read this book nearly every year for the rest of my life.The story of Saiyuri is a very detailed one, and how she came to be a geisha. The (fictional) biographical novel of a geisha is definitely a wonderful read. I love all things Japanese, and this book is a great insight into the world, as it is well researched and well written. In some places it is like a story, and in others it is like reading an encyclopedia of Japanese culture, and the two mix so well…

Anonymous says:

A Classic Unfortunately, I admit I haven’t read this book in twenty or so years and I imagined it reading the same. I couldn’t have been more wrong! It’s so much more heartbreaking, intriguing and entertaining than when I was younger. There was so much I thought I understood back then that now I appreciate.

Anonymous says:

Poetic but oddly disturbing When this was published a decade ago, it sounded like an account I wouldn’t find compelling. But as a fan of historical fiction, and an admirer of many Asian cultures I decided to wade into the book after hearing how it appealed to both genders, though strangely it was written by a male who was also not Japanese. It is written in a very soft motif with gentle mental imagery. But it also detailed a belief system that was reality but no less perverse in marginalizing women and condoning extreme…

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