Lorenzo Walker Tech HS & Institute of Tech

Monday, June 11, 2007

Off the Shelf 0607-26

Memoirs of a Geisha
By Arthur Golden
Audiobook – CD Unabridged
Read by Bernadette Dunne
© 2005

This story was originally published in 1997 and has since been converted to audio, as well as to the big screen motion picture. The rhythmic voice of Dunne in this audio version (18 hours of listening pleasure) easily transports you to pre-World War II Japan. The history, art and culture of Japan are interwoven amid the cultivation of nine-year old Chiyo, a fisherman’s daughter, to the beautiful Sayuri, one of the most celebrated geisha.

Although the ‘memoirs’ are fiction, the descriptive prose was well researched and immediately engages you to believe it as truth. I was especially enchanted with the make up (white facial base with red lipstick and heavily accented black eyebrows and eyelids) and dress of these professional entertainers. Kimonas, the traditional clothing of Japan, vary considerably in terms of cut, color, fabric, and decorations depending upon the age and status of the wearer, as well as the season of the year and occasion for which the kimono is worn. Their beauty is unsurpassed by their symbolism.

There is no doubt Memoirs of a Geisha will remind you of the differences between your world and that of Sayuri – the amazing revelation is that it will simultaneously highlight the similarities: humans striving for survival, affiliation, and self-actualization. Enjoy the nuances of the storytelling via the audio version!

My recommendation:
4 ½ out of 5 stars
Submitted by M. Coleman, Media Specialist

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