The Geisha and the Banjo Player

Jérôme Hallier

200 pages May 2018 manuscript in French Original publisher: Flammarion|VersilioCommercial Fiction

Set against the backdrop of the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris, this extraordinary journey and tale of impossible love is reminiscent of Alessandro Baricco‘s Silk.

The year is 1900. In Kyoto, a young geisha named O-miya longs to discover what lies beyond the confines of her strict world. She stands out not only for her beauty and poise, but for the delicate way she plays the shamisen. When the Emperor hears her play, he decides to include O-miya in the Japanese delegation that is heading to France for the World’s Fair.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, in a stone quarry in Appalachia, a soft-spoken young man named Tommy learns how to play the banjo from a legendary black musician. When tragedy strikes his hometown, Tommy must flee, and he soon finds himself aboard a ship to Europe.

In Paris, the fates of these two young musicians collide and with them, two worlds meet-old and new, East and West. Through their music, for a fleeting moment, they manage to breach the distance that separates them.