Sunday, November 26, 2006


Geisha by Liza Dalby

This is an interesting book that is about more than just geisha. In writing about geisha and their role, Dalby delves into the intricacies of Japanese culture and society.

This book gets a lot of press because Dalby is the only non-Japanese ever to have trained as a geisha. Despite the fact that the UK edition that I read is classified as "autobiography," the book --though informed by Dalby's experiences studying the geisha-- is not a memoir of her time spent as a geisha. Dalby is an anthropologist first and foremost and the book reflects that.

I enjoyed the book, but not near as much as I thought I would. I do have to say that to some extent the book feels like an academic text repackaged for the general public.


  1. Geisha

    This is exactly how I felt when I read it - like I was reading a scholarly paper rather than a novel nonfiction or otherwise.


  2. I didn't finish reading Geisha because of the academic feel -- it bored me silly. And after reading Arthur Golden's beautiful Memoirs of a Geisha, it was a HUGE disappointment; I wanted to feel Dalby's world!