The world’s first novel, in a translation that is “likely to be the definitive edition . . . for many years to come” (The Wall Street Journal)
The inspiration behind The Metropolitan Museum of Art's "The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated" -- Now through June 16 at The Met Fifth Avenue
A Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition, with flaps and deckle-edged paper
Written in the eleventh century, this exquisite portrait of courtly life in medieval Japan is widely celebrated as the world’s first novel. Genji, the Shining Prince, is the son of an emperor. He 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 superior translation is detailed, poetic, and superbly true to the Japanese original while allowing the modern reader to appreciate it as a contemporary treasure. Supplemented with detailed notes, glossaries, character lists, and chronologies to help the reader navigate the multigenerational narrative, this comprehensive edition presents this ancient tale in the grand style that it deserves.
About the author
Murasaki Shikibu, a lady in the Heian court of Japan, is best known as the author of The Tale of Genji–written in the eleventh century and universally recognized as the greatest masterpiece of Japanese prose narrative and possibly the earliest true novel in the history of the world.
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