Synopses & Reviews
A translation of the diary of Japan's most acclaimed prose writer. Part of the "Penguin Classics" fiftieth anniversary promotion.
This is the diary of Lady Murasaki, the Japanese prose writer. It describes the Heian court at its apogee and offers an intimate picture of the author's life as tutor and companion to the timid Empress Shoshi. It reveals the underside of imperial splendour from a female point of view.
About the Author
Murasaki Shikibu, born in 978, was a member of Japan's Fujiwara clan, which ruled behind the scenes during the Heian Period by providing the brides and courtesans of all the emperors. Lady Murasaki's rare literary talent, particularly her skill as a poet, secured her a place in the court of Empress Akiko. After the death of her husband, she cloistered herself to study Buddhism, raise her daughter, and write the world's first novel Genji Monogatari, the tale of the shining Prince Genji.
Table of Contents
A Note on Japanese Names and Dates
THE DIARY OF LADY MURASAKI Appendix I: Ground-plans and Map
Appendix II: Additional Sources
A Guide to Further Reading