Torie sent me an email today asking me to comment on the movie, “Memoirs of a Geisha.” I haven’t seen it and the DVD won’t be released for two more weeks, so I can’t say much about it. The reviews, I think, were not kind.
However, I’ve read the book, which was one of those serendipitous finds. When it was first published and before I read a review I saw it in the bookstore and couldn’t resist. I bought it.
It was meet right so to do. How did Arthur Golden, an American male, achieve a narrative voice of such authenticity, the voice of a Japanese geisha? Pure talent, I suppose. I gobbled up the book and looked forward eagerly to the movie. (Why did it take them nearly ten years to get the story to the silver screen?) Alas, the reviewers were unimpressed. No matter, I’ll watch it anyhow. I have it on my Netflix list.
I checked my database for books about geishas. Here are the books I’ve read on the subject.
The books I own:
MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA (1997), by Arthur Golden.
GEISHA (1983), by Liza Crihfield Dalby. This is one of the books Golden used when writing MEMOIRS.
WOMEN OF THE PLEASURE QUARTERS: The Secret History of the Geisha (2001), by Lesley Downer.
GEISHA: A Life (2002), by Mineko Iwasaki.
The ones I borrowed from the Fairfax County Public Library:
MADAME SADAYAKKO : The Geisha Who Bewitched the West (2003), By Lesley Downer.
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A GEISHA (2003), by Sayo Masuda
GEISHA: The Life, the Voices, the Art (1995), by Jodi Cobb. Primarily photos.
GEISHA (1999), by Aihara, Kyoko