The Pillow Book

The Pillow Book

4.02 (4,172 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback

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'The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon', an informal diary of the reminiscences of a lady-in-waiting at the court of a Heian more

Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 128 x 192 x 20mm | 140.62g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • illustrations, maps, plan, bibliography
  • 0140442367
  • 9780140442366

Review Text

After The Tale of Genji, this is deservedly the best-known work of Japanese classical literature, and arguably the most accessible one. Shonagon was the Dorothy Parker of Heian Kyo, a wit who kept the court amused with her sharp tongue. She was also an intolerant snob, but though you may not always approve of her, you can't help feeling close to her when you read these brief jottings. She sets down her likes and dislikes, points of etiquette and descriptions of the seasons, as well as some gossipy anecdotes, and she is so good at making lists ('Things That Should Be Short', 'Pleasing Things', 'Different Ways of Speaking') that you will be inspired to draw up your own. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

4,172 ratings
4.02 out of 5 stars
5 38% (1,572)
4 35% (1,447)
3 21% (895)
2 5% (195)
1 2% (63)
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