The Diary of Lady Murasaki

Front Cover
Penguin Books Limited, Mar 7, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 144 pages
17 Reviews
The Diary recorded by Lady Murasaki (c. 973-c. 1020), author of The Tale of Genji, is an intimate picture of her life as tutor and companion to the young Empress Shoshi. Told in a series of vignettes, it offers revealing glimpses of the Japanese imperial palace - the auspicious birth of a prince, rivalries between the Emperor's consorts, with sharp criticism of Murasaki's fellow ladies-in-waiting and drunken courtiers, and telling remarks about the timid Empress and her powerful father, Michinaga. The Diary is also a work of great subtlety and intense personal reflection, as Murasaki makes penetrating insights into human psychology - her pragmatic observations always balanced by an exquisite and pensive melancholy.

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Review: The Diary of Lady Murasaki

User Review  - Jenni C - Goodreads

Actual (translated in English) account of a famous female author in Heian Period of Japan. She talks of fashion, society, and personalities within the royal court. It's not an action movie :) but gives a glimpse into the circle of the elite during that time. Read full review

Review: The Diary of Lady Murasaki

User Review  - Deborah Schuff - Goodreads

Murasaki Shikibu wrote the world's first novel. She also invented the world's first anti-hero. AND she wrote it in Japanese, a language then spurned for all "serious" work (read by "literate men") in ... Read full review

About the author (1996)

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.

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