The Front Book Club: Memoirs of a Geisha
“Enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl’s virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as illusion.” This is the description of junior Erika Lovas’ book recommendation, Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden.
“She is an entertainer or a high end prostitute, but it is about a lot more than that,” Lovas said.
“The novel is narrated through the voice of a young geisha named Sayuri, it’s written incredibly well and although the author is a guy, I found myself thinking it was really her story,” Lovas said.
Memoirs of a Geisha was Golden’s debut novel, published in 1997. Almost 10 years later the novel was adapted into a film.
The novel has faced some criticism; according to book blogger, Renae, of Respiring Thoughts, the novel is a westernized portrayal of Japanese culture. Memoirs is considered a piece of historical fiction.
According to Amazon, Golden trained much like a geisha, to master the arts of music, dance, clever conversation and much more. He also holds a degree in Japanese art and history from Harvard and Columbia. The novel is said to be based off the life of a man Golden met in Tokyo, whose parents were a successful businessman and a geisha.
Lovas said, “The book really takes you to the time and place and gives you an inside look on what it is like to be a geisha.”