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Arthur Golden biography

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Arthur Golden

Arthur Golden

Arthur Golden Biography

Arthur Golden was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and was educated at Harvard College, where he received a degree in art history, specializing in Japanese art. In 1980 he earned an M.A. in Japanese history from Columbia University, where he also learned Mandarin Chinese. Following a summer at Beijing University, he worked in Tokyo, and, after returning to the United States, earned an M.A. in English from Boston University. He is the author of Memoirs of a Geisha, which was adapted into a film in 2005. He resides in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his wife and two children.



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Interview

Join us for a conversation with Arthur Golden about Memoirs of A Geisha as he shares what sparked his interest in the subject of geisha, why the Geisha was willing to open up to him, and answers the question, "Are geisha prostitutes?"

A Conversation with Arthur Golden, about Memoirs of A Geisha

Q: What sparked your interest in the subject of geisha?

A: I studied Japanese language and culture in college and graduate school, and afterward went to work in Tokyo, where I met a young man whose father was a famous businessman and whose mother was a geisha. He and I never discussed his parentage, which was an open secret, but it fascinated me. After returning to the U.S., I began work on a novel in which I tried to imagine this young man's childhood. Gradually I found myself more interested in the life of the mother than the son and made up my mind to write a novel about a geisha.

I read everything I could find on the subject, in English and in Japanese, and ended up writing an 800 page first draft focusing on five years in the life of a Kyoto geisha shortly after World War II. Then as I prepared to revise the manuscript, a longtime Japanese friend of my grandmother's offered to introduce me to a Kyoto geisha named Mineko--retired already at the age of 42 and evidently willing to talk to me. I flew to Japan to meet with her, not at all certain what to expect. I worried she might spend an afternoon chatting with me about the sights and then ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Arthur Golden at BookBrowse
Memoirs of a Geisha jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Arthur Golden but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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