Memoirs of a Geisha This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
     Hidden behind the pomp and ceremony, the intricately detailed kimonos and the doll-like faces of the Japanese geisha, are stories of real women who are little different from us. They have the same dreams, disappointments and complications that women around the world experience.

Arthur Golden takes us into the world of the geisha and exposes the stories of ordinary women with captivating lives. Not only do we experience the geisha existence but we are

taken into the imagination, heart and soul of a woman struggling to retain her desires in a world where her dreams are disregarded and subservience to men is the norm.

Golden tells the story of a renowned geisha in the Gion district of Japan during the '30s and '40s. We watch as a nine-year-old girl, Chiyo, loses all she holds dear. After her mother dies, her father sells her and her sister into slavery. Chiyo ends up in a geisha house in a city drastically different from her fishing village and is thrust into a life she doesn't understand or appreciate until she tries to run away. It seems her chance of becoming a geisha is ruined but unexpectedly her fortunes turn around.

Her training progresses well, though she is stripped of her former identity in order to transform into the role of a geisha; even her name is changed to Sayuri. Problems arise when the most beautiful geisha, Hatsumomo, threatens to destroy her reputation. The story of her struggle to earn both respect and integrity while maintaining the sexual appeal vital to the geisha is intriguing. Her willpower and determination are consistently tested and in the end secrets are revealed that change her life.

Golden introduces the world to a veiled society rarely explored. His use of imagery and metaphor transport the reader not only into the center of the geisha culture but straight into the heart of Japan. You become lost in Sayuri's enchanting tale and wonder if her struggles and losses result in the one thing she desires above all else. .

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Join the Discussion

This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

WitchBitch said...
Feb. 26, 2015 at 5:55 pm
I absolutely adore this book and think you've captured it very well!
 
Angie_24 said...
Jun. 24, 2014 at 3:11 pm
Wow this was an awesome review! I just picked this out from my library and your review made me very excited to pick it up!
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback