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Diane Publishing Books
Tale of Murasaki: A Novel
Liza Dalby. Out of the life & work of Lady Murasaki, the 11th-cent. Japanese author of the world’s first novel, Dalby has woven a fiction that brings an elaborate past world to life. The sensitive daughter of a court poet, Murasaki Shikibu staves off loneliness by telling stories about the dashing Prince Genji to her friends. Genji’s amorous adventures are leaked to the public & Murasaki is thrust in the life of a celebrity. She accepts a position at court regaling the empress with her stories. At court, she becomes caught in a vortex of politics & sexual intrigue, which begins to reflect itself in her stories. In this way, she comes to write her masterpiece, “The Tale of Genji.” Dalby subtly reconstructs the fashions, sensibilities, manners, & preoccupations of 11th-cent. Japan.
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