Summoning up more than 20 years of Japan's most dramatic history, the geisha's story uncovers a hidden world of eroticism and enchantment, exploitation and degradation. It moves from a small fishing village in 1929 to the glamorous and decadent Kyoto of the 30s and on to postwar New York.
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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.
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"An epic tale and a beautiful evocation of a rapidly vanishing world" The Times "The sort of novel that novel-lovers yearn for, which is to say, so convincing that while reading it you become transported to another time, another place, and feel you are listening and seeing with someone else's ears and eyes" -- Margaret Forster "Endlessly fascinating...a narrative that is both gripping and beautifully paced...a wonderful read" Observer "Sayuri's memoirs reveal Golden to have great gifts of imaginative empathy...fascinating" Independent "This is one of those rare novels that evokes a vanished world with absolute conviction and in every detail... This book is exceptional" Daily Mail