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One Hundred and One Ways

Mako Yoshikawa

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ISBN 10: 0553110993 / ISBN 13: 9780553110999
From Dan Pope Books (West Hartford, CT, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Bantam (NY), 1999. First edition. SIGNED BY AUTHOR on title page. New in dust jacket. An unread perfect copy of her debut book. 0.0. Bookseller Inventory # 5555

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Bibliographic Details

Title: One Hundred and One Ways

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: F....

About this title


"I may have spent most of my life in New Jersey, but the blood of a geisha courses through me yet." So writes Mako Yoshikawa in this extraordinary debut novel which is sure to evoke comparisons to the works of Amy Tan and Alice Walker. One Hundred and One Ways is the story of a woman who, finding herself torn between two men and two cultures, turns for answers to an unknown Japanese grandmother, once a famous geisha.

If Kiki Takehashi's life is dramatically different from the one lived by her reserved Japanese-American mother, it is light-years away from that of her grandmother, whom she knows only through old family stories. Kiki has recently become engaged to Eric, a handsome, successful lawyer in New York City. But at the same time she is haunted--quite literally--by the memory of her friend Phillip, killed the previous year in a mountaineering accident.

As Kiki herself is well aware, her incessant mourning for Phillip--her love of a ghost--is endangering her chance at real-life happiness with Eric. Yet her relationship with Eric is also complicated by her fear that he is attracted to her only because of his erotic fascination with Asian women.

Kiki has never so much as met her grandmother, the woman for whom she is named. Still, thoroughly American though she is, she feels a secret kinship with the nearly legendary Yukiko, whose impoverished family sold her as a young girl to a geisha house. Kiki is swept up by the story of this strong, proud, passionate woman who, against all odds, in a time and place far different from her own, found the love that has so far eluded the rest of the Takehashi women.

For years, Kiki has collected questions to ask her grandmother--queries on subjects ranging from love, loss, and family to the myth of exoticism which hangs over Asian-American women and geishas alike. In the wake of Phillip's return as a ghost, Kiki awaits Yukiko's imminent visit to America with a renewed eagerness, trusting that this unknown woman will provide answers to the mysteries of her past and guide her on her way into the future.

Lyrical, haunting, and stunningly evocative, One Hundred and One Ways introduces a powerful and exciting new voice in contemporary fiction.


"What a geisha is to Japan, a Japanese woman is to America." Kiki Takehashi, the narrator of Mako Yoshikawa's debut novel, One Hundred and One Ways, is all too familiar with what she calls the "Asian-woman fetish" of many American men--the assumption that Japanese women "possessed a set of keys that would unlock their bodies with a groan, one hundred and one times, one hundred and one ways". Despite her suspicions, however, Kiki keeps getting involved with Caucasian men--first Philip, who died the previous year, and now Eric, a Jewish lawyer who has asked her to marry him. Though Kiki accepts, she is still haunted--literally--by the ghost of her departed first love and by her own unresolved feelings about her parents' failed marriage.

As she works through these issues, Kiki is increasingly drawn to the story of her maternal grandmother, Yukiko, with whom she feels a strong bond though they have never met. As a young girl, Yukiko was sold by her family and trained to become a geisha. Her story becomes intertwined with that of her granddaughter's--giving both strength and unexpected guidance to Kiki when she must make a heart-wrenching decision. Indeed, the sections detailing Yukiko's life are among the strongest in Yoshikawa's controlled, occasionally stilted first novel. --Margaret Prior

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