Books

The Tale of Genji

Murasaki Shikibu (and others)

The first complete new translation for 25 years of the acknowledged masterpiece of Japanese literature. Lady Murasaki's great 11th century novel is a beautifully crafted story of love, betrayal and death at the Imperial Court. At the core of this epic is Prince Genji, the son of an emperor, whose passionate character, love affairs and shifting political fortunes, offer an equisite glimpse of the golden age of Japan. Royal Tyler's superb new translation is scrupulously true to the Japanese original but appeals immeadiately to the modern reader. This edition also includes notes, glossaries, character lists and a chronology to enable the reader to appreciate the richness of this classic of world literature.

The Diary of Lady Murasaki

Murasaki Shikibu (and others)

The Diary recorded by Lady Murasaki (c. 973-c. 1020), author of The Tale of Genji, is an intimate picture of her life as tutor and companion to the young Empress Shoshi. Told in a series of vignettes, it offers revealing glimpses of the Japanese imperial palace - the auspicious birth of a prince, rivalries between the Emperor's consorts, with sharp criticism of Murasaki's fellow ladies-in-waiting and drunken courtiers, and telling remarks about the timid Empress and her powerful father, Michinaga. The Diary is also a work of great subtlety and intense personal reflection, as Murasaki makes penetrating insights into human psychology - her pragmatic observations always balanced by an exquisite and pensive melancholy.

Biography

Lady Murasaki lived in Japan at the end of the ninth century. She was the author of The Tale of the Genji, which has been hailed as the first novel.