HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Memoirs of a Geisha: A Novel by Arthur…
Loading...

Memoirs of a Geisha: A Novel (original 1997; edition 1999)

by Arthur Golden (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
30,34747627 (4.01)483
Member:amsuwa
Title:Memoirs of a Geisha: A Novel
Authors:Arthur Golden (Author)
Info:Vintage (1999), Edition: Vintage contemporaries ed, 434 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (1997)

  1. 170
    Geisha: A Life by Mineko Iwasaki (Leishai, sbuehrle)
    Leishai: Arthur Golden schrieb einen Roman über Geishas. Mineko Iwasaki war die Geiko, die er dafür interviewte. Sie stellt in ihrem Buch alles richtig, was er sich zu dramatischen Zwecken zurechtgeschnitten hat.
    sbuehrle: I would recommend reading these books back-to-back. Memoirs of a Geisha is the fictional account of Iwasaki's life, whereas Geisha: A Life is the autobiographical response.
  2. 184
    Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (goodiegoodie)
  3. 62
    Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (caflores)
  4. 40
    Autobiography of a Geisha by Sayo Masuda (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Beautifully written story of a geisha who fares better than Sayo Masuda.
  5. 51
    Empress Orchid by Anchee Min (krizia_lazaro)
  6. 20
    Geisha in Rivalry by Nagai Kafu (normandie_m)
    normandie_m: Set slightly earlier and in Tokyo, but also worth reading for exploring the relationship dynamics between geisha and their patrons, who come from a variety of different backgrounds. Also offers insight into the relationships/friendships between the different geisha.… (more)
  7. 20
    Plum Wine by Angela Davis-Gardner (Catt172)
  8. 31
    Geisha by Liza Dalby (SqueakyChu, MartinRohrbach, Leishai)
    Leishai: Ein gutes Buch für Europäer oder Amerikaner zum Verständnis der japanischen Geisha-Kultur.
  9. 20
    The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon by Sei Shonagon (brightbel)
  10. 10
    Kimonos (365 Series) by Sophie Milenovich (JuliaMaria)
  11. 01
    Still Life With Rice by Helie Lee (dawnlovesbooks)
  12. 01
    Jia: A Novel of North Korea by Hyejin Kim (meggyweg)
  13. 01
    The Teahouse Fire by Ellis Avery (cransell)
  14. 05
    The Physician by Noah Gordon (MartinRohrbach)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 483 mentions

English (452)  Spanish (10)  Dutch (6)  French (3)  Italian (1)  All (1)  Finnish (1)  All (474)
Showing 1-5 of 452 (next | show all)
An engrossing story but Stepford wives come to mind - barbaric gender relations ( )
  sianpr | Jun 11, 2018 |
I had wanted to read this book for a long time but for whatever reason kept putting it off. I am glad I finally got around to it. It was not at all what I expected. The story was told through the perspective of the main character, Chiyo/Saruyi, and it focuses on her journey in becoming a geisha. I enjoyed being immersed in a world I knew little about, and it was great to learn about the cultural norms in Japan in the first half of the 20th century.

I would have liked it more if it had spent a bit more time talking about what was going on in 1930s Japan, but cannot fault the author for not writing about it as it would have taken away from the continuity of the story. My only real critique of the book is that I found the main character to speak in a voice that almost seemed childlike and never changed even as she got older. I know that she is telling the story as she looks back from a future date but it just seemed a bit off to me.
( )
  msaucier818 | Apr 9, 2018 |
I actually set off reading this book with very little expectations of liking it. That quickly changed as I saw Chiyo grow and change through all of her struggles and the uncertainties and cruelties that she had to endure.

I had seen the movie when it first came out years ago (my only time seeing it) but I had no idea that the author had pulled facts and experiences from a real geisha. That being said, I know the geisha was upset later on about this book and because of what I have learned through my reading and research of this book, I don't know how much of geisha life and culture was real and how much was totally made up.

Even if the author did twist and completely change things, I found geisha life fascinating, though very depressing too. I can't imagine going through something like this, especially at such a young age.

The character of Chiyo was interesting and there were many times that I almost cried for her, the first really being when she discovered her sister was sold into prostitution and later had to escape without her (Chiyo). I thought that there would come a point, several times during the book, that so many things would just collapse for Chiyo that I blazed through this book. ( )
  Moore31 | Feb 25, 2018 |
I actually set off reading this book with very little expectations of liking it. That quickly changed as I saw Chiyo grow and change through all of her struggles and the uncertainties and cruelties that she had to endure.

I had seen the movie when it first came out years ago (my only time seeing it) but I had no idea that the author had pulled facts and experiences from a real geisha. That being said, I know the geisha was upset later on about this book and because of what I have learned through my reading and research of this book, I don't know how much of geisha life and culture was real and how much was totally made up.

Even if the author did twist and completely change things, I found geisha life fascinating, though very depressing too. I can't imagine going through something like this, especially at such a young age.

The character of Chiyo was interesting and there were many times that I almost cried for her, the first really being when she discovered her sister was sold into prostitution and later had to escape without her (Chiyo). I thought that there would come a point, several times during the book, that so many things would just collapse for Chiyo that I blazed through this book. ( )
  Moore31 | Feb 25, 2018 |
So much better than the movie. Don't miss this great book. ( )
  DJadamson | Jan 4, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 452 (next | show all)
Golden fills the book with vivid images and subtle descriptions of the nuances of Japanese culture, and is absolutely brilliant in his description of the customs and rituals of the geisha. Through the meticulous detail the reader can fully understand the politics, rivalries, and traditions of the Japan geisha society.
added by mikeg2 | editCNN, Ann Hastings (May 25, 1998)
 
Mr. Golden gives us not only a richly sympathetic portrait of a woman, but also a finely observed picture of an anomalous and largely vanished world. He has made an impressive and unusual debut.
 
Haarhuis's foreword and Golden's epilogue, the one appropriating the guise of a novel and the other taking it off, suggest an author who is of two minds when it comes to his work. It is not surprising, then, if his readers share this uncertainty. The decision to write an autobiographically styled novel rather than a nonfiction portrait is most obviously justified in terms of empathy, of allowing greater freedom to explore the geisha's inner life. Unfortunately, Sayuri's personality seems so familiar it is almost generic; she is not so much an individual as a faultless arrangement of feminine virtues.
 

» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Golden, Arthurprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cobb, JodiCover photographsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
de Wilde, BarbaraCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stege, GiselaÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weinstein, IrisDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
A seductive and evocative epic on an intimate scale, that tells the extraordinary story of a geisha girl. Summoning up more than twenty years of Japan's most dramatic history, it uncovers a hidden world of eroticism and enchantment, exploitation and degradation. From a small fishing village in 1929, the tale moves to the glamorous and decadent heart of Kyoto in the 1930s, where a young peasant girl is sold as servant and apprentice to a renowned geisha house. She tells her story many years later from the Waldorf Astoria in New York; it exquisitely evokes another culture, a different time and the details of an extraordinary way of life. It conjures up the perfection and the ugliness of life behind rice-paper screens, where young girls learn the arts of geisha - dancing and singing, how to wind the kimono, how to walk and pour tea, and how to beguile the most powerful men.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679781587, Paperback)

The first thing you notice about the audio version of Memoirs of a Geisha is that Arthur Golden's 428-page novel has been reduced to a scant two cassettes. But dismay quickly gives way to mounting pleasure as Elaina Erika Davis (Contact, As the World Turns) begins her delicate rendering of geisha culture in the years before World War II. Davis reads the abbreviated story of Sayuri with an authentic-sounding Japanese accent--one mixed with a magical combination of Asian reserve and theatrical energy. As Sayuri ages from a 9-year-old peasant girl to a popular geisha in her late 20s, Davis directs her voice gently away from curious youth to a tone that reflects Sayuri's uphill life.

From start to finish, the listener is absorbed in the elegant spirit of Davis's performance, eager to hear the next chapter of Sayuri's transformation into one of the most famous geishas of the century. How unfortunate, then, to learn that book readers not only get the basic story, but a fascinating look at the intricate rules and rituals of geisha culture. Here, for example, is one of the many revelations omitted from the cassette: "Japanese men, as a rule, feel about a woman's neck and throat the same way that men in the West might feel about a woman's legs.... In fact, a geisha leaves a tiny margin of skin bare all around the hairline, causing her makeup to look even more artificial.... When a man sits beside her, he becomes that much more aware of the bare skin beneath."

We're also denied several subplots--the aborted friendship between Sayuri and a geisha named Pumpkin, for example, or much of the story involving the man Sayuri is secretly in love with. But what remains is as precious as a traditional Japanese kimono--at once artistic, suggestive, and moving. --Ann Senechal

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:27 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Because her mother is dying and her father old, Chiyo, nine, is sold to a wealthy geisha house in Gion where she learns her trade and works it in the 1930s and 1940s.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 16 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.01)
0.5 10
1 107
1.5 30
2 378
2.5 93
3 1672
3.5 363
4 3510
4.5 371
5 3096

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 126,444,615 books! | Top bar: Always visible