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Memoirs of a Geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha

by Golden, Arthur

  • Used
  • Fine
  • Hardcover
  • first
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About This Item

New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997 First printing of the stated first edition, first state with cloth covered spine and threaded grey paper-covered boards, and with, "Printed and bound by Quebecor Printing, Martinsburg, West Virginia" on the back colophon page, and in first state/issue dust jacket, with the Ann Beattie blurb at top of the rear panel. Author's first book. Book and dust jacket in fine condition.


Memoirs of a Geisha is a novel by Arthur Golden, published in 1997. The novel, told in first-person view, tells the fictional story of a geisha working in Kyoto, Japan, before and after World War II.


On Jan 16 2014, a reader said:
Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden, is a warm, happy read. It is the story of a Japanese girl whose father sells her and her sister to strangers as her mother dies. Her older sister is sold into prostitution, and our heroine, Chiyo, only nine years old at the time, is sold to a geisha household in Kyoto, and expected to become a geisha. We discover that, at this time, becoming a geisha requires years of schooling. Chiyo studies various instruments, singing, dancing, and the tea ceremony, so that she can become an entertainer of men in tea houses. Eventually, she is adopted as a “younger sister” by Mameha, a first-rank geisha. All of this occurs before the Great Depression and the Second World War. During that terrible period, everyone in Japan underwent great hardships. The geisha profession was legally abolished. Chiyo, by now known by her geisha name of Sayuri, spent the war years sewing parachutes in a former kimono maker’s home and shop. After the war, she eventually was able to return to her geisha life. The story of her success, largely guided by Mameha, and her own desire to become worthy of a man she has fallen in love with, is very endearing. Somewhat to our surprise, she eventually comes to live in the USA, along with her lover. We suspect, although we are never told outright, that she has an American son. She tells her story verbally over a period of months to a sympathetic writer. This is a hard book to put down; the action is so real, and the writing so lyrical, that we feel we must keep reading until we know the end.

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Idler Fine Books US (US)
Bookseller's Inventory #
Memoirs of a Geisha
Golden, Arthur
Book Condition
Used - Fine
Jacket Condition
Quantity Available
1st Edition
Alfred A. Knopf
Place of Publication
New York
Date Published
Fiction, Author's first book.

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About the Seller

Idler Fine Books

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
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Las Vegas , Nevada
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Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....
Sometimes used as another term for dust jacket, a protective and often decorative wrapper, usually made of paper which wraps...
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the...
"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched...
The colophon contains information about a book's publisher, the typesetting, printer, and possibly even includes a printer's...
First State
used in book collecting to refer to a book from the earliest run of a first edition, generally distinguished by a change in some...
First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in...
The blurb refers to the commentary that appears on the dust jacket flaps or the rear of the dustjacket. In the case of a...

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