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Memórias de uma Gueixa

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4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,250,498 Ratings  ·  23,059 Reviews
A literary sensation and runaway bestseller, this brilliant debut novel presents with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of Japan's most celebrated geisha.

In Memoirs of a Geisha, we 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 pow
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Paperback, 488 pages
Published December 1998 by Editorial Presença (first published 1997)
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Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) "Geisha" and "prostitute" are not the same thing. There are still geisha who are what the original word means: artists. "Gei" means "art." They…more"Geisha" and "prostitute" are not the same thing. There are still geisha who are what the original word means: artists. "Gei" means "art." They specialise in one of the performing arts: music, traditional dancing, reciting poetry or singing, etc. A real geisha's job is to act as a hostess in the true sense of the word, by providing conversation, serving food and drink etc at formal dinners, or accompanying a guest to observe the beauties of nature such as cherry blossoms, autumn colours etc--often with a picnic included, at which the geisha will serve the food or treats. They are paid for this service, but sex is not a given part of the service offered. There are indeed prostitutes in Japan, as there are in every other country in the world (except maybe Antarctica), but the terms are not interchangeable.(less)
Shahd Anwar صراحة ، انا كنت بدي اقرأ الرواية عشان الفلم ، بس الكتاب طلع فعلا 'حاجة تأنيه خالص' . الفلم كثييييييييير مقطع الكتاب وحاذف مقاطع كاملة احيانا ، مع انه…moreصراحة ، انا كنت بدي اقرأ الرواية عشان الفلم ، بس الكتاب طلع فعلا 'حاجة تأنيه خالص' . الفلم كثييييييييير مقطع الكتاب وحاذف مقاطع كاملة احيانا ، مع انه محافظ على الشعور العام الا انه لم يوفه حقه . الكتاب اجمل بكثير والأحداث مفسرة بشكل اكبر ، مثلا قصة ماميها مفسرة بشكل اكبر وأجمل في الكتاب مع البارون (الفلم تقريبا حاذفها) دروس سايوري في المدرسة ، علاقتها مع الناس اللي ساكنين جيون ، علاقتها مع الام والعمة وبامبكين كلها اجمل في الكتاب . مع انه الرواية من أطول الكتب اللي قرأتها بس ممتعة جداً وحسب رأيي ، مع انه الفلم جميل ، الكتاب اجمل :)

ملاحظة: انا قرأت الكتاب بالانجليزية ، ما بعرف عن الترجمة العربية بس بقترح (اذا قررت تقرأ الرواية) تقرأها باللغة الأصلية (الانجليزية) احسن ، لانه الكاتب لغته جميلة جدا ، اعتقد انه رح تضيع اذا أترجمت . (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Juushika
Dec 04, 2013 Juushika rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Memoirs of a Geisha is an American novel, and as such the attempt at West does East, especially on the complex and delicate subject of the geisha, is compelling, interesting, but also heavy-handed and ultimately ineffective (even more so in the case of the film). It is a wonderful introduction to geisha, Japanese culture, and the East for the uninitiated Western reader, and I can see why the book is popular, but I found it disappointing. For the reader already familiar with the culture, western ...more
Liz Lynch
Like eating fancy dessert at a gourmet restaurant, Memoirs of a Geisha is beautiful, melts lightly off the tongue and will be forgotten shortly after it's done. The language is strikingly lovely, and Golden paints a remarkable picture of a time and place.

If you're looking to learn something deep about the psychology of Japanese culture, or meet nuanced characters, then I'd steer you elsewhere. The story only skims the top of the more complicated aspects of a Japan in decline, focusing mostly on
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Sophia.

So.. Memoirs of a Geisha. I'd been wanting to read that one for a very long time. I had heard so many good things about it. It's supposed to be awesome, and deep, and beautiful, right?
Wrong. It's not.

The writing was what bothered me the most. It's pretentious and superficial, and sloooooww and it goes on and on and on and on and on and still, very little happens. In some sort of weird combination, the writing is both superficial and cliché. It feels like Golden thought it would be a good idea
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Jeffrey Keeten
Jun 25, 2015 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-japanese
”Whatever our struggles and triumphs, however we may suffer them, all too soon they bleed into a wash, just like watery ink on paper. “

 photo MinekoIwasaki_zpsceab2a8e.jpg
Geisha Mineko Iwasaki basis for Chiyo/Sayori.

Chiyo, with her sister Satsu, and her mother and father live in a shack by the sea on the coast of Japan. The shack leans, and has to be propped up to keep from total collapse. Her mother is sick and on the verge of death. Her father is a fisherman, uneducated, and generally befuddled by anything that doesn’t have to
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T.J.
May 13, 2008 T.J. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Damn if you aren't one of the most problematic things I've ever read, Memoirs of a Geisha.

Like much of non-Asian America, I was swept up in the delight of reading this book in 2000. I was fifteen and precocious, and the narrative was arresting. I couldn't put the book down. I wrote this in 2000:

"Golden has hit pay dirt with this masterpiece. An insightful, curious, and caring look into the mysterious world of geisha, Arthur Golden peels away the ignorance and labeling that westerners have covere
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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
I read this book back when it first came out. I never wrote a review of it because when I first joined GR I didn't really know what it was all about. It took a bit before it sunk in for me.

Now GR members get spammed at times. The newest form of spam is review bumping. I didn't even know that existed because..well I'm a slow learner. I kept noticing the same person's reviews on my thread. Several times a day. All day. For weeks. Someone finally pointed out to me that they are bumping their review
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Argona
I became fascinated with Japanese culture when I was a teenage girl and since then I have read many Japanese-related books and articles and have watched many movies and animes that depict parts of Japanese culture but the fact remains that I am not Japanese, I have never been to Japan and I am a foreigner, captivated by this exotic and very different culture.

As a foreigner, I see many beautiful and unique aspects to Japanese culture but I also know about certain painful historical facts such as
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Megan B.
Feb 13, 2008 Megan B. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Megan B. by: no one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jason Koivu
A Cinderella romance that unexpectedly swept me away! Memoirs of a Geisha is a very picturesque and dramatic tale of a young village girl taken from her family and raised in Kyoto as a geisha.

Usually I don't go in for romance. Don't get me wrong, I love love. But I prefer my love stories to be true. There is something immensely powerful about real love. As far as I've been able to discover, much of this story is based on the actual events of the life of former geisha Mineko Iwasaki. Why do I th
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Khalid
Apr 15, 2007 Khalid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: already-read
Memoirs of a Geisha is an amazing novel that discusses the life of a Geisha, a Japanese artist-entertainer. Both its very exotic setting, with its extremely different value system, and its fascinating plot, which grabs your interest early on and keeps you waiting for more all along, contribute to making this novel a special book worthy of reading.

The best quality in this novel, in my opinion, is the way the narrator (Chiyo), tells the story. Her reflections concerning much of the events in the n
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Arah-Lynda
Feb 22, 2015 Arah-Lynda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top, i-said

A beautiful, poingnant story that is so incredibly, lyrically captivating you are seduced from the very first word. An absolute work of art, each page overflows with beautiful, sensual, evocative images.

Such is the skill and authority of Golden's writing, I feel as though I have spent hours, being entertained by the most gifted of all Geisha. Utterly Satisfying. I want to read it again for the very first time!

Michi
May 05, 2008 Michi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Very entertaining, but kind of made me gag. Everything was written in this faux-asian "My heart ached like cherry blossom petals floating on the river..." bullshit.
Katie
Dec 04, 2013 Katie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jillian
Jun 28, 2008 Jillian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The book in itself presents an interesting story, and makes for an entertaining read, but what bothers me about this book is that the vast majority of Western readers interpret it as a historically accurate memoir, when in fact it was written by an American author for an American audience, and therefore has achieved its success through appealing to and reinforcing the stereotypes about Japanese culture in America. Another reviewer on this website writes, "It is a wonderful introduction to... Jap ...more
Zara Aimaq
Apr 02, 2007 Zara Aimaq rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book in high school, and although I remember liking it, I don't think I was paying very much attention because I seriously thought the book was just about a bunch of Japanese hookers. But I reread it a few weeks ago, and I loved the story. Memoirs is about the life of this peasanth girl, Sayuri, in pre and post-WW2 Japan who is sold into life as an apprentive Geisha, and then ultimately, an actual Geisha.

The novel is full of these really great, vivid details of a variety of ch
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Supreet *The Cupcake Queen*
Jesus! This is one long-a$$ book. It took me two weeks to finish but I did it. And in the end, it made me cry. Now I am sad that its over. I wish this book was never-ending on paper as much as this is everlasting in my mind.

Perfect. Sad. Beautiful. A great love story.
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
The Book Report: The politics of the okiya, or geisha house, closely examined through the rise of Chiyo, an unpromising girl sold into slavery by her peasant family, to become Sayuri, a sought-after and renowned geisha in pre-WWII Kyoto.

Chiyo's arrival in the okiya is inauspicious, and her introduction into the horrible world of all-female hatreds and politics comes at a heavy price. She attempts to run away back to the family that sold her into slavery in the first place, which shows that kids
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mai ahmd
Dec 21, 2011 mai ahmd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: روايات
حين كنتُ أدرس التاريخ الجاهلي في شبة الجزيرة العربية كانت هناك فقرة تتكرر دائما عن وضع المرأة في المجتمع عبارة كنت أشعر أنهم يكررونها بشكل متعمد لإهانة جنس النساء كان المؤلف يصف معاملة الرجل المرأة على أساس إنها متاع أو ما شابه حين كنت أقرأ الجيشا رنّت تلك العبارة في ذهني مسترجعة قسوة الرجل ولامبالاته تجاه هذا الكائن الحي !
أي وضع مأساوي كانت تعيشه المرأة في الهند أو الصين أو اليابان أو عند العرب أو غيرهم شرقا وغربا لم يكن يختلف !
الأنثى كانت تدور دوما في فلك الرجل تموت و تحيا لأجله !
الجيشا درّبت
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Alena
Feb 11, 2008 Alena rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Golden earns points for creativity, but loses them for inaccuracy.

The "memoir" of the elegant Sayuri, whose life as a high-class geisha is disrupted by the outbreak of war, is written in an intriguing and alluring monologue -- purportedly narrated by Sayuri herself to the author -- that pulls the reader in from the very beginning. Unfortunately, the real narrator, Arthur Golden, took some dramatic liberties with history and cultural practices, and the fallacious elements sprinkled throughout det
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Rola
Apr 11, 2013 Rola rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
مازلت أتخبط فى رأيى.
ما بين الانبهار بحياة الجيشا و الدهشة حد الغيظ, تخيل فقط معى ما هو تعريف الجيشا "هن ببساطة محظيات الرجال فى اليابان" , طبقة إجتماعية معروفة بل أكاد أقول "راقية" , لوظيفتهن رتب و لأماكن تجمعهن مكاتب تسجيل و دفاتر و رسوم و لكل جيشا سمعة تسعى بتقاليد معينة للحفاظ عليها! !!!!!
كم الهوان فى الأمر رأيته من منظور مختلف , حيث الرجل ليس المتهم الوحيد , بل أيضا المرأة التى ترى فى كونها جيشا مدعاة للفخر و الشرف, هكذا صب فى أذنيها و هكذا آمنت على مر الأعوام.

و لأفسر كم الحيرة , لم أجزم ع
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Jamie
Apr 10, 2015 Jamie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely beautiful! This story was so rich and vivid. With attention to personal details, you could almost think this is a real memoir.
from her childhood as Chiyo, her days as a maid and finally her transformation into Sayuri and her life as a geisha. It was a remarkable, heartfelt journey. She goes through so many hardships to obtain the best life possible and make her dream come true. It is a show of how life does not always go as we want. That others actions can affect our own.

The glimpse
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Denise
Jan 03, 2008 Denise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Denise by: Book Group
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beatrice
Feb 01, 2016 Beatrice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, adult
I remember watching the film when I was in my 2nd or 3rd year high school for a movie review. I barely remember what happened and decided to finally pick the book as it sits on my shelf for more than 3 years.

I didn't expect to like it because historical fiction isn't my usual kind of read and I find it refreshing. The premise of this book is compelling and beautiful. I was hooked from the very beginning and I can't seem to stop. The story tells about the journey of Nitta Sayuri/Chiyo being a G
...more
Loederkoningin
I got tricked into thinking this actually was Chiyo's biography. I read the preface by the imaginary professor matter of factly, not giving much thought to it. Of course the idea of reading an autobiography sparked my excitement. I liked the prose, the part of the book in which Chiyo was not yet abducted stood out and "felt" Japanese. What quickly brought me back on the right track again, was the formulaic style. Chiyo's life consisted of a little too many Cinderella ingredients to not make me d ...more
Wilson
Aug 02, 2007 Wilson rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Alright, so if white people are not allowed to put on make up to try and make themselves look somehow like they are black people in movies (unless you're Ted Danson) without being wholloped on, why is it OK for Arthur Golden, who I don't know but I wager is not a Japanese geisha, to write a book that he passes off as the actual memoir of a Japanese geisha? And then have people say, "You know what, Arthur really captured the essence of the Japanese geisha." Why? Because he eventually had sex with ...more
Juliette
Jan 25, 2016 Juliette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ogni sera che leggevo questo libro è stato come andare in Giappone, indossare splendidi kimono , bere il sakè e versare il tè verde, passeggiare tra le vie del quartiere di Gion, fare spettacoli di danza.
Indimenticabile
Hannah
Oct 12, 2007 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was well written, interesting, tasteful, and informative. It seems like the author really did his research.

The culture of this book is what interested me the most. The role women played and their place in society. Although this is merely "based on actual events", I kind of took a lot of it as what really went on. I've always thought of a Geisha like a prostitute, not as a companion/entertainer. I never thought about it being a career that they would have had special schools for young
...more
Madeline
A beautiful story that explores the secret world of the Japanese geisha (if you think that geisha = prostitue, you need to read this book just to learn how wrong that assumption is), told in the style of an interview with a woman named Sayuri Nitta, who used to be one of the most famous geisha in Kyoto. My favorite parts of the story were the detailed descriptions of geisha beauty rituals (they wax their hair and sleep with their necks resting on wooden blocks so they don't mess up the hairstyle ...more
Amanda
Jul 22, 2015 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a beautiful read. The descriptions and narration were so lusciously breathtaking that I enjoyed every second of this book. The conversational narration style made it easy to read quickly even though it wasn't necessarily simple. Often it will bug me when narration in diary format includes a ton of dialogue, but I didn't feel any unrealness in the main character's telling of the story, perhaps because the concept was her actually speaking it to someone else. I was too absorbed in it that the ...more
Maryam Shahriari
گیشا در فرهنگ ژاپن به زنانی گفته میشه که در مراسم خاص صرف چای حضور پیدا میکنند و برای مهمانها که معمولاً مردانی از طبقات بالا و ثروتمند هستند چای و ساکی میریزند. البته وظیفه این زنها فقط همین کار نیست و برای رسیدن به این درجه باید سالها دورههای مخصوص ببیند و هنرهایی مثل نوازندگی و رقص هم یاد بگیرند. مشخصه که در کنار داشتن این هنرها و وظایف باید زیبایی و خوش سخنی و دادن سرویسهای دیگه به مردان مشتریشون رو داشته باشند! البته این سرویسهای اضافی در حدی نیست که بشه گیشا رو دقیقاً مترادف با زنی که از ر ...more
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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 Engli ...more
More about Arthur Golden...

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