The Tale of Genji

The Tale of Genji

3.7 (8,519 ratings by Goodreads)
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The abridged edition of the universally acknowledged masterpiece concerning the love of Prince Genji and life in the imperial court of Kyoto in the eleventh century. Translated by Edward Seidensticker.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 1184 pages
  • 139.7 x 205.74 x 53.34mm | 1,088.62g
  • Everyman's Library USA
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Abridged
  • Abridged edition
  • 0679417389
  • 9780679417385
  • 340,181

Flap copy

In the eleventh century Murasaki Shikibu, a lady in the Heian court of Japan, wrote the world's first novel. But The Tale of Genji is no mere artifact. It is, rather, a lively and astonishingly nuanced portrait of a refined society where every dalliance is an act of political consequence, a play of characters whose inner lives are as rich and changeable as those imagined by Proust. Chief of these is "the shining Genji," the son of the emperor and a man whose passionate impulses create great turmoil in his world and very nearly destroy him. This edition, recognized as the finest version in English, contains a dozen chapters from early in the book, carefully chosen by the translator, Edward G. Seidensticker, with an introduction explaining the selection. It is illustrated throughout with woodcuts from a seventeenth-century edition.

"From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Back cover copy

The Tale of Genji is a very long romance, running to fifty-four chapters and describing the court life of Heian Japan, from the tenth century into the eleventh.
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Review quote

"[The Tale of Genji is] not only the world's first real novel,
but one of its greatest." -Donald Keene, Columbia University "Edward Seidensticker's translation has the ring of authority." -New York Times Book Review "A triumph of authenticity and readability." -Washington Post Book World
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About Murasaki Shikibu

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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Rating details

8,519 ratings
3.7 out of 5 stars
5 27% (2,306)
4 32% (2,725)
3 29% (2,446)
2 9% (783)
1 3% (259)
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