Thursday, July 20, 2006

Oh, so geisha aren't fancy hookers

Memoirs of a Geisha
Arthur Golden

In a way, Memoirs of a Geisha reminds me of Gone with the Wind, only less crappy and less racist and whatnot. Oh, and the heroine is way less bratty than Scarlett O'Hara.

But there is a war (World War II) and it ruins an elegant existence (that in this case isn't even quite so elegant to everyone living within it -- no happy slaves in Kyoto).

Because the story opens with Sayuri, the geisha of the title, living in New York City and reflecting on what looks like a happy life, it's not giving anything away to say that things turn out better for her than for Scarlett. They didn't turn out the way I expected, though. (I expected less joy and more acceptance.) After spending 400 pages with her, I really felt she deserved a good outcome.

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