The Diary of Lady Murasaki

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Penguin Books Limited, Mar 7, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 144 pages
3 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  - Jane Tara - Goodreads

Quite a wonderful read, although I'm still a card carrying member of team Sei Shonagon over Murasaki. Read full review

Review: The Diary of Lady Murasaki

User Review  - Briynne - Goodreads

I read this on suggestion from my little brother, who is a history major who focuses on Asian history. It's, as the title suggests, the diary of a court lady from Japan, c. 1000 AD. Lady Murasaki went ... Read full review

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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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