Memoirs of a Geisha
First of all I loved that book! Golden's way of writing is amazing and once you start reading you get sucked into the world of Sayuri (the Geisha whose memoirs the book is about). Though the book really gives an in-depth insight into the lives of the Geisha in Kyoto during the first half of the last century it is more the journey to fulfillment of Sayuri's greatest desire that makes the story spellbinding. As the reader you are always torn between hope that she finally gets what she desires and the despair when everything takes an absolutely different turn and she's farther away from fulfillment than ever. On another note the author draws attention to the fact that the Geishas will (at some point not so far in the future) belong to the extinct species. Which is actually a pity as it is one of the aspects of Japanese culture that involves a lot of traditions e.g. tea ceremony, playing the shimasen, traditional dances etc. that (at least for a non-Japanese as me) just belong to the image of Japan. A Geisha incorporates Japanese culture in so many ways. It really would be a huge loss if one day there'd be no more Geishas. I hope that one day I'll have the money and the time to go to Japan and to visit Kyoto, Tokyo and even Okinawa. Hm that'd be so great. Though I'd need an extra bag just for all the manga and artbooks I'd buy ;D.
After two books from this century I'm now turning back to somewhat older literature again: "Tess of the D'urbervilles" by Thomas Hardy which was first published in 1891. I haven't started yet but will definitely read a chapter this evening before going to bed.
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