Those pesky stickers on the covers of books
Geisha: The Secret History of a Vanishing World
Ever since Westerners arrived in Japan, they have been intrigued by Japanese womanhood and, above all, the geisha.
This fascination has spawned a wealth of extraordinary fictional creations, from Puccini’s Madame Butterfly to Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha.
The reality of the geisha’s existence, though — whether today or in history — has very rarely been addressed.
The real, hidden history of the geisha — and the contemporary reality of this intensely private and disappearing world — is here fully and brilliantly explored by an award-winning writer.
Lesley Downer describes the history of the practise, one which is endangered in the modern era.
By speaking to geishas and those who spend time with them, the author gives a well-rounded portrait, which is at times unsettling and at others enthralling.
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