"A seductive and evocative epic on an intimate scale, that tells the extraordinary story of a geisha girl. Summoning up more than twenty years of Japan's most dramatic history, it uncovers a hidden world of eroticism and enchantment, exploitation and degradation. From a small fishing village in 1929, the tale moves to the glamorous and decadent heart of Kyoto in the 1930s, where 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; it exquisitely evokes another culture, a different time and the details of an extraordinary way of life. It conjures 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 most powerful men."
Seductive, evocative, exquisite - intimate memoirs spanning half a century of Japanese history, revealing a closed world.
Winner of Whitaker Gold Book Award 2001. Runner-up for The BBC Big Read Top 100 2003. Shortlisted for BBC Big Read Top 100 2003.
"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 *
Arthur Golden was born and brought up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He is a 1978 graduate of Harvard College with a degree in art history, specialising in Japanese art. In 1980 he earned an MA in Japanese history from Columbia University where he also learned Mandarin Chinese. After a summer at Beijing University, he went to work at a magazine in Tokyo. In 1988 he recieved an MA in English from Boston University. He has lived and worked in Japan, and since that time has been teaching writing and literature in the Boston area. He now lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his wife and children