The Tale of Genji

By Murasaki Shikibu, Kencho Suematsu (translator),

Book cover of The Tale of Genji: The Authentic First Translation of the World's Earliest Novel

Book description

Written centuries before the time of Shakespeare and even Chaucer, The Tale of Genji marks the birth of the novel and after more than a millennium, this seminal work continues to enchant readers throughout the world. Lady Murasaki Shikibu and her tale's hero, Prince Genji, have had an unmatched influence…

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Why read it?

1 author picked The Tale of Genji as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Though potentially incomplete (some scholars argue we're missing one or two chapters, or that the story was never meant to end), The Tale of Genji manages to paint a vivid picture of the life of a lost age, with its own array of traditions, values, and fashions; a world where one's skill with poetry was just as valuable as political acumen and their outlook is so different from a modern perspective. At the same time, it presents the timeless complexity of relationships between men and women, and the social expectations and norms that impact those connections.

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