Name: Arthur Golden
Years as a Camper: 4
Current Profession and Title/Years in role: Author, Memoirs of a Geisha
Hometown: Chattanooga, TN
How did you first arrive at Camp from Tennessee? My two older brothers attended Sea Gull and my older sister attended Seafarer. I was the youngest and followed at age 8. I spent four summers starting in Cabin 3 and ending in Cabin 30-something.
What lessons, values of memories from Camp do you carry with you? There was always a challenge. There was always something you could learn or do beyond what you had already done. I feel like I learned a lot while I was there. I remember Wyatt in his golf cart, and whenever you saw him you would say ‘Ahoy there, Wyatt!’ and he would throw fireballs and sugar dadies. It’s a great tradition, it was great fun. I have such fond memories of Camp Sea Gull. I’m charmed to hear it has remained so unchanged.
What advice would you give campers who are interested in writing as a career? I always liked writing, but I’d never imagined I’d be a writer. I guess a part of me thought to be a writer you had to have ‘talent’, and I didn’t have any reason to imagine I had ‘talent’. What I really think makes a writer is something I discovered along the way, but it’s not talent…the real trick is persistence, that’s what really makes a writer.
At some point, you’re going to hit this moment where you’re going to think ‘I can’t do this.’ And you’re going to have to get past that. I remember when that moment came for me. I decided to stick with it and start all over from scratch. It took me about a decade to write Memoirs of a Geisha. There is no guarantee that you’ll succeed even if you do but you are guaranteed to fail if you don’t.
Is there a goal toward which you are currently working? Right now I’m working on something on something different which I started about five years ago. Which I’m very excited about, it excites me as much as Memoirs of a Geisha. I can’t talk about it but I can say it’s going well and I don’t think it will take forever. I think it will be done in a year, year and a half, but who knows.
Favorite novel: The Story of the Stone by Cao Xueqin
Favorite Camp Memory: One of the most incredible memories I have of Sea Gull was watching the moon landing. All of us sitting there in absolute silence watching this happen.