The Tale of Genji
written by Murasaki Shikibu
Penguin Books Ltd | ISBN 9780143039495
Paperback – 400 pages
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Written in the eleventh century, this exquisite portrait of courtly life in medieval Japan is widely celebrated as the world's first novel - and is certainly one of its finest. Genji, the Shining Prince, son of an emperor, is a passionate character whose tempestuous nature, family circumstances, love affairs, alliances, and shifting political fortunes form the core of this magnificent epic. Royall Tyler's superb translation is detailed, poetic, and true to the Japanese original while allowing the English reader to appreciate its timeless beauty. In this deftly abridged edition, Tyler focuses on the early chapters, which vividly evoke Genji as a young man and leave him at his first moment of triumph.