Monday, June 23, 2008

Memoirs of a Geisha

Last night I finished reading Memoirs of a Geisha by Aurthur Golden. This was a fascinating book that truly captivated me. I had a very difficult time putting the book down. I would often read it before going to bed at night and I would awake in the morning with thoughts of the story roaming around in my head. In my sleepy state, I had difficulty differentiating between the fiction and the reality.

I am really bad at writing book reviews so I will not attempt to do so. A friend recommended the book to me and her review is here. She read the book because she is participating in a summer book challenge on another blog. That blogger's review is here. Both of them express my feelings about the book quite accurately.

So, what did I learn from the book? Aside from the obvious lesson that I learned about a great book, I learned a lot about the geisha. I know that the book is fictional but Arthur Golden did extensive research before writing the novel and there were many things that I simply did not know before reading the novel. The very concept of a geisha was very vague to me. Now I have a clearer understanding of their life, their role, their struggles, and their successes.

In researching to learn more about the Geisha, I learned that Arthur Golden was sued for breech of contract and defamation of character by the woman he interviewed in his research for the book, Mineko Iwasaki, a former geisha. She was promised that she would remain anonymous when the book was published yet, Golden listed her in the book's acknowledgements. She later went on to write her autobiography in a book titled Geisha, A Life. Perhaps this will be a book that I read in the near future. Sounds pretty interesting.

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