Memoirs of a Geisha

by Arthur S. Golden | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0375405372 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingKateKintailwing of Burke, Virginia USA on 6/18/2007
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
This book is in a Controlled Release! This book is in a Controlled Release!
6 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingKateKintailwing from Burke, Virginia USA on Monday, June 18, 2007
Unabridged on 11 cassette tapes. Bought off to replace a copy unfortunately stalled in a bookring.

I just finished earreading this book today and absolutely *loved* it.

I'd seen the movie before starting the book and for once I'm actually glad I saw them in that order. The movie was beautiful and thrilling... but the book was so incredible and really breathed such full lives into all the characters I was astounded. The metaphors started to get annoying after a while, but they did serve to show Sayuri was clever and observant; in all, I liked the style. I am amazed at the incredible characters and all the little plot twists- many of which surprised me even though I knew what happened at the end of the story.

An incredible book and a beautifully narrated one, at that.

According to Arthur Golden's absorbing first novel, the word "geisha" does not mean "prostitute," as Westerners ignorantly assume--it means "artisan" or "artist." To capture the geisha experience in the art of fiction, Golden trained as long and hard as any geisha who must master the arts of music, dance, clever conversation, crafty battle with rival beauties, and cunning seduction of wealthy patrons. After earning degrees in Japanese art and history from Harvard and Columbia--and an M.A. in English--he met a man in Tokyo who was the illegitimate offspring of a renowned businessman and a geisha. This meeting inspired Golden to spend 10 years researching every detail of geisha culture, chiefly relying on the geisha Mineko Iwasaki, who spent years charming the very rich and famous.
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.

Journal Entry 2 by wingKateKintailwing from Burke, Virginia USA on Monday, June 18, 2007
BookRing Rules:
1. When you receive the book, please make a journal entry to let us know it's safe & sound with you.
2. Read & enjoy! Please try to read it within 4-6 weeks. I understand it's a loooong book so if you find you'll need longer, just PM me to let me know but please try to get through it quickly to be respectful to the other ring participants.
3. PM the next person in the ring for his/her address.
4. Make another journal entry to let us know what you thought about it, and that you're sending it on.
5. Mail the book to the next bookring participant. I'd recommend getting Delivery Confirmation since it's less than a dollar in cost and will help you keep track of it if it gets lost, but I'm going to make that optional.
6. If you need to be skipped for whatever reason let the person who PMed you know. I can add you back at the end of the list if you'd like.
7. PM KateKintail if you have any questions!

KateKintail (VA)
ivylibra224 (MO, posts to US only)
nightraine56 (MO, posts to US only)
MyssCyn (TX, prefers US but will post internationally)
sunlightbub (UK, posts anywhere)
starbrightxx (OH, posts to US only)
Back to KateKintail (VA, USA) <-HERE

Journal Entry 3 by wingKateKintailwing from Burke, Virginia USA on Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Sent out to ivylibra224 today. Hope it's enjoyed!

Journal Entry 4 by ivylibra224 from Kimberling City, Missouri USA on Monday, June 25, 2007
Received in the mail today, and began listening immediately!!

Journal Entry 5 by ivylibra224 from Kimberling City, Missouri USA on Wednesday, July 18, 2007
I didn't realize how little I knew about the geisha in Japan! This book also gives a sense of what it was like during and after the war. I'm so glad for the opportunity to experience this wonderful story. It really opened my eyes! Sending it on to nightraine56.

Journal Entry 6 by nightraine56 from St. Louis, Missouri USA on Thursday, July 26, 2007
Got this today. Will start listening asap. thanks katekintale for letting me participate.

Journal Entry 7 by nightraine56 from St. Louis, Missouri USA on Tuesday, September 4, 2007
What a wonderful story. I really enjoyed listening to this. Thank you katekintail for sharing. It gave me a great understanding of geisha. I do apologize however for the length of time for which I have had this. I had a death in the family and was unable to listen for a few days. I will be sending this on to mysscyn tomorrow's mail.

Journal Entry 8 by wingMyssCynwing from San Antonio, Texas USA on Thursday, September 13, 2007
I received this today but have two others to listen to ahead of it. I will probably get to it by the middle of next week.
Thanks so much for including me.

Journal Entry 9 by wingMyssCynwing from San Antonio, Texas USA on Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I finally finished and will mail tomorrow.
So many people loved this book. It is well written and the words flow easily and I tried but...
All I kept thinking about is these men who cultivated relationships with underage girls who were trained to "entertain" and whose virginity is up to the highest bidder. I knew that geisha were men's playthings but I never realized they started as children. I should have read the synopsis!

Journal Entry 10 by Sunnybubble from Wallasey, Merseyside United Kingdom on Wednesday, November 7, 2007
This has been at the post office and finally got to pick it up today..Looking forward to it hugely.

Journal Entry 11 by Sunnybubble from Wallasey, Merseyside United Kingdom on Sunday, January 6, 2008
A quick update!

I'm on tape 6, and absoltely loving this. ( I haven't read the book) . SOrry it's taking so ong, but haven't had as long as usual in the car to listen to it.

Wanted to let you all know it is still safe though!!

Journal Entry 12 by Sunnybubble from Wallasey, Merseyside United Kingdom on Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Absolutely loved this..but took a very long time to get through - sorry.
I thought Sayuri was a great character, who managed to say postive and engaging even when at her lowest ebb.
Pming next partipant now.

Journal Entry 13 by Sunnybubble from Wallasey, Merseyside United Kingdom on Friday, March 7, 2008
Not sure if my pm's aren't getting trhough, so JEing instead. No response frm starbrightxx so need Kate's address to return the tapes to her - thanks xxx

Journal Entry 14 by wingKateKintailwing from Burke, Virginia USA on Friday, January 23, 2009
I felt SURE I journaled this when I got it... I must not have done! This definitely made it back home to me safe and sound. Thank you to all who participated in the bookring!

Adding this to my bookbox ray: Earreading Audiobooks on Cassette Bookbox #1

I hope whoever finds it, enjoys it!

Journal Entry 15 by bsliv1219 from Fremont, Ohio USA on Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I am taking this book out of KateKintail's Audio Bookbox.

Journal Entry 16 by bsliv1219 at Whitehouse, Ohio, Donation -- Controlled Releases on Sunday, July 19, 2009

Released 14 yrs ago (7/21/2009 UTC) at Whitehouse, Ohio, Donation -- Controlled Releases



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