Memory Lane Mondays: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Welcome to Memory Lane Mondays! 

This is a weekly feature of unforgettable books I have read in times past which have not had the chance to be reviewed on this blog as I read them a long  time ago. Lets’ call them my personal classics. I will be featuring a new favorite every week and I hope you will be interested to read and enjoy some as I have.

This week’s pick is….


memoirs of a geisha

I first read this book in 2012 and I loved the story from start to finish. As a lover of historical fiction, this was a good introduction to Japanese culture which I was totally ignorant about at the time and spurred my interest to learn more about their history and culture. I have read a number of reviews especially by Japanese people who say that this book was not a true representation of their culture but since it was presented as a work of fiction It has not changed my feelings about the story.

There is an adaptation of this book as a movie which I also saw when it was released but it was a much more inferior experience for me compared to reading the book. I still recommend this book to all fiction lovers and I may just do a reread sometime this year.



This story is a rare and utterly engaging experience. It tells the extraordinary story of a geisha – summoning up a quarter century from 1929 to the post-war years of Japan’s dramatic history, and opening a window into a half-hidden world of eroticism and enchantment, exploitation and degradation. 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. Her memoirs conjure 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 land’s most powerful men.

The Author:

Arthur Golden was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and was educated at Harvard College, where he received a degree in art history, specializing in Japanese art. In 1980 he earned an M.A. in Japanese history from Columbia University, where he also learned Mandarin Chinese. Following a summer in Beijing University, he worked in Tokyo, and, after returning to the United States, earned an M.A. in English from Boston University. He resides in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his wife and two children.

Published: June 4th 1998 by Vintage
Pages: 497
Genre: Historical Fiction

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