A Woman of Pleasure


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SKU: 9781804440889 Categories: , Tag: Author: Kiyoko MurataFormat: PaperbackPages: 320Publisher: Footnote Press Ltd


‘Irrefutable and beautiful’ New York Times
‘Only Kiyoko Murata can convey this world’ YOKO OGAWA, author of The Memory Police, Yomiuri Shibun

The year is 1903, and tenacious and spirited Aoi Ichi is sold to the most exclusive brothel in Kumamoto, Japan, becoming the protégée of Shinonome, the oiran, or the highest-ranking courtesan.

Through Shinonome’s teachings, fifteen-year-old Ichi begins to understand the intertwined power of sex and money. Education for a courtesan extends beyond the art of seduction, and as Ichi is taught to read and write she develops a voice that refuses to be dampened by the brothel’s rigid hierarchy.

Outside the cloistered world of the red-light district, rumours of local worker strikes grow, and as the seasons change in Kumamoto, Ichi, Shinonome and their fellow courtesans begin to wonder how they might redistribute the power and wealth of the brothels among themselves.

Critically acclaimed veteran writer Kiyoko Murata creates in stunning detail the harsh yet vibrant lives of women in a red-light district at the turn of the twentieth century. Based on real-life events, A Woman of Pleasure is a testament to the bonds between women and the power of owning one’s language and freedom.

A Woman of Pleasure