I wish I had paid attention to the April Six Degrees of Separation to see that Memoirs of a Geisha was done. I still want to do it, even if it’s late and I don’t personally mind replacing this month’s chosen book, The Poisonwood Bible, to make up for missing April’s book. It’s also going to be Children’s Day in Japan tomorrow, so at least the book is set in the same country.
As a note, I haven’t read most of the books I am about to connect.
While I haven’t read Memoirs of a Geisha, I have read Mineko Iwasaki’s memoir, Geisha, A Life (a.k.a. Geisha of Gion). She wrote it in response to the apparent misrepresentations of what it is to be geisha, or geiko, in Golden’s book and salvaging her reputation since he revealed her as a source against her wishes.
Another memoir set in Japan that I can think of is Learning to Bow: Inside the Heart of Japan by Bruce S. Feiler. According to the synopsis, it’s supposed to be about the culture clash Feiler experiences when he goes to teach in Japan for a year.
Living in another country and confronting different cultures is the subject of Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok. The protagonist of this book has to deal with living the difference between life in Hong Kon and her new life in the U.S. and works on learning English, as I understand from the few random pages I read when I bought it. I’m basing that on the way she hears some English phrases. The synopsis of Life, After, by Sarah Darer Littman, mentions its protagonist dealing with a language clash when she starts school in the U.S., where English is the language of instruction.
Life, After deals with a terrorist attack that packs the entire family off to America, as does How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiyimana with Abigail Pesta. Deborah Ellis’s Children of War: Voices of Iraqi Refugees presents the life stories of refugee children. Some of the stories are from children who immigrated to North America and many are from those who live in Jordan.
Starting this chain off with a couple of books about geishas, we see that Memoirs of a Geisha is connected to books dealing with culture clash and refugees.
What does your chain look like? Let me know in the comments below!