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Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
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Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

The novel Memoirs of a Geisha was written over a 10-year period during which Golden rewrote the entire novel three times, changing the point of view before finally settling on the first person viewpoint of Sayuri. Interviews with a number of geisha, including Mineko Iwasaki, provided background information about the world of the geisha.

Speaking frankly, I bought this book because of the catchy cover. They say in America ‘Don’t judge a book by the cover’. But that is exactly what I did. I felt when the cover looks so exotic; the book must be worth a try and Lo! I landed up with one of the best books I will ever read in my life.

Memoirs of a Geisha, Is more of an autobiography of a small girl Chiyu, who by fate has been sold to Gion  (more of a prostitute house) along with her sister and then begins her turbulent journey to become one of the most cherished Geisha of all times – Nitta Sayuri San. The book very is intelligently written and once started you wouldn’t rest it till you finish the last page.

On one hand, the author Arthur Goldman tries to explain Japan during the world war II as seen by the eyes of a small girl and the transformations it goes through her life period. On the other hand he very intricately explains the feelings of the girl towards her sister, Satsu; her delicate animosity filled relationship with Mameha, her love for the chairman and her confused relationship with Nobu, who wishes to be her danna. The book further goes on to explain the difficult times of world war and how she braved them with the help of the chairman, her guardian angel.

It is Japan like never before.

My Kudos to the author Arthur Goldman , who despite being an American has explained  Japan and Japanese culture in such mesmerizing words.

My Suggestion: At the very immediate opportunity, go grab this book and get started.

Author: Arthur Golden

Genre: Historical novel

Publication year: 1997

Pages: 448 (hard cover)

ISBN: ISBN 0-375-40011-7

0 31 October, 2010 Books October 31, 2010

About the author

He is an avid reader, a writer and a poet. Professionally He is a Technology Analyst at a leading IT Services Firm. He describes himself as “An independent Thinker.Non Conformist but not a maverick”. He believes that every object on earth has a story to tell and he loves to connect with every ounce of nature and try to depict them in his literary work.

View all articles by Muddassir Shah Md

14 comments

  1. Sir Pumpkin Longshanks

    I somehow have reservations about reading books with tragic undertones. It does my sleep no good. But I’ve heard a lot about this book.

    1. gayatri

      read it, its not that tragic. sayuri sails through :D

      @review
      This is one of my fav books. The narration style is lovely. Even the movie was good, but they omitted most of the war portions from it.

        1. mani

          Agreed with Muddassir in this. Movies cannot do justice to the books in itself, maybe because of the time and cost constraints. Well only one exception in my case was LOTR, where I enjoyed the movie more than the novel.

  2. Samadrita

    I think I’ve so far commented on two blog posts reviewing this book. And every time I’ve said the same thing…that I need to go and grab the book and read it. Being a Japan lover myself I’ve watched a drama about geishas and it is not too unlike the tawaif culture in our country. Also there’s a movie based on this book.

  3. Samadrita

    I think I’ve so far commented on two blog posts reviewing this book. And every time I’ve said the same thing…that I need to go and grab the book and read it. Being a Japan lover myself I’ve watched a drama about geishas and it is not too unlike the tawaif culture in our country. Also there’s a movie based on this book.

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