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Dagboek van een geisha by Arthur Golden

Dagboek van een geisha (original 1997; edition 1998)

by Arthur Golden

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35,90555363 (4)533
A fisherman's daughter in 1930s Japan rises to become a famous geisha. After training, Sayuri's virginity is sold to the highest bidder, then the school finds her a general for a patron. When he dies, she is reunited with the only man she loved.
Title:Dagboek van een geisha
Authors:Arthur Golden
Info:Amsterdam Anthos 1998
Collections:Your library

Work Information

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (1997)

  1. 200
    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. 40
    Autobiography of a Geisha by Sayo Masuda (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Beautifully written story of a geisha who fares better than Sayo Masuda.
  4. 51
    Geisha by Liza Dalby (SqueakyChu, MartinRohrbach, Leishai)
    Leishai: Ein gutes Buch für Europäer oder Amerikaner zum Verständnis der japanischen Geisha-Kultur.
  5. 51
    Empress Orchid by Anchee Min (krizia_lazaro)
  6. 30
    The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon by Sei Shonagon (brightbel)
  7. 63
    Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (caflores)
  8. 20
    Plum Wine by Angela Davis-Gardner (Catt172)
  9. 20
    Geisha in Rivalry by Kafu Nagai (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)
  10. 20
    Kimonos by Sophie Milenovich (JuliaMaria)
  11. 20
    The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan (sturlington)
  12. 01
    Still Life With Rice by Helie Lee (dawnlovesbooks)
  13. 01
    Jia by Hye-Jin Kim (meggyweg)
  14. 01
    The Teahouse Fire by Ellis Avery (cransell)
  15. 05
    The Physician by Noah Gordon (MartinRohrbach)

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» See also 533 mentions

English (521)  Spanish (15)  Dutch (6)  French (4)  Italian (2)  Greek (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (551)
Showing 1-5 of 521 (next | show all)
While I did enjoy reading this book, it didnt quite meet my expectations. I liked getting insights to the culture and the history but the characters and the story line didn't really do much for me. ( )
  jskeltz | Nov 23, 2023 |
I was totally enthralled with this book. The story was so well developed and I learned so much about geisha rather than the stereotypes I had only known until then. ( )
  MsTera | Oct 10, 2023 |
I'm tired of hearing that one can't tell it's written by a middle-aged white man. ( )
  emmby | Oct 4, 2023 |
I kept hearing that I should read it. I had no interest in the subject, but figured I'd give it a try. I immediately liked the narrator's voice. One page, two, three, and before I knew it, I was through the book. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and would read it again. ( )
  MickeyMole | Oct 2, 2023 |
I loved Memoirs of a Geisha, but maybe not for the reason most people loved it.

I remember seeing this book out everywhere years ago, and then the movie poster was everywhere in my city too. Over the years, I pondered picking the book up but just never came across it in my travels. And then recently, I found it at a charity bookstore and decided to take the plunge.

I liked the storytelling itself and how the book was written. Arthur Golden's writing style worked well for me and I was hooked on every page. I wanted to know how the characters were doing and how they would end up. Supposedly, this book is very deep and has meaning, but I saw it just as a story in a very different world than the one I live in. I was intrigued by the life of a geisha and hoped for a happy ending. I was surprised that the ending was so... simple. I thought it might change or be quite epic, but it just ended in a very 'blah' way for how well the book pulled me in.

Despite this book being extremely slow and the exact opposite of what I liked, it really worked. I couldn't put the book down. I'm surprised by this but also quite impressed. It takes a very special writing style to hold me when the book is very slow.

I'm sure this book isn't purely accurate but I still enjoyed it. Taking it as a story, it was an interesting read. I'll definitely be wanting to find some books on geisha written by Japanese and Asian writers in the near future.

Four out of five stars. ( )
  Briars_Reviews | Sep 24, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 521 (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 (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Golden, Arthurprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cobb, JodiCover photographsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cohen, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
de Wilde, BarbaraCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stege, GiselaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weinstein, IrisDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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For my wife, Trudy,
and my children, Hays and Tess
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Suppose that you and I were sitting in a quiet room overlooking a garden, chatting and sipping at our cups of green tea while we talked about something that had happened a long while ago, and I said to you, "That afternoon when I met so-and-so . . . was the very best afternoon of my life, and also the very worst afternoon."
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Wikipedia in English (1)

A fisherman's daughter in 1930s Japan rises to become a famous geisha. After training, Sayuri's virginity is sold to the highest bidder, then the school finds her a general for a patron. When he dies, she is reunited with the only man she loved.

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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.
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