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Showing posts from January, 2015

Book Review: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I'll start with my one and only complaint about this book.  My complaint is that the entire time I was reading the story, I thought that it was true.  I thought, because of the title and the tone of the book and theTranslator's Note, which is narrated by a (I assume) fictional author/historian, that a geisha named Nitta Sayuri had dictated the story of her life to the author, who had simply massaged her memories into a plot arc.  (Ew, was that phrasing creepy? Massaged?)  Only when I read the Acknowledgments, at the end of the book, did I realize that Sayuri is a made-up character with a made-up life story.  The actual author, Arthur Golden, did extensively interview an actual geisha, Mineko Iwasaki, in order to write the book, and I realize now that the cover professes itself "a novel by Arthur Golden," so I can't be too mad at him.  But I did feel betrayed when, after 428 pages of rooting for the captivating, resourceful, unstoppable, improbable Sayuri, I …

A Resolution for the Rapacious Reader: Read More Short Stories

Ahaha, sorry I haven't updated in so long.  I have no excuse other than that this month, once I was done with a frenetic school day plus homework and studying, I wanted to do something mind-numbing like watch Skins and documentaries rather than blog.  But I feel disciplined today, so I am suggesting a New Years' Resolution to you all: Read more short stories!  
     This is a resolution for me too because I read far more novels than short pieces.  But I have read some really awesome short stories in the past and I feel like I should seek out more this year.  A good short story is the bridge between a poem and a novel: it is as concentrated, delicate, and detailed as a poem, but allows for more story, more character development, and more drawn-out exploration of themes.  Short stories deserve more love than the word is inclined to give them.  Here are a few that you should try reading this year:
1. "The A&P" by John Updike - This was one of the first great shor…