Murasaki Shikibu

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Murasaki Shikibu

(mo͞o'räsä`kē shē'kēbo͞o`), c.978–1031?, Japanese novelist, court figure at the height of the Heian period (794–1185). Known also as Lady Murasaki, she is celebrated as the author of the romantic novel Genji-Monogatari [tale of Genji], one of the first great works of fiction to be written in Japanese and often considered the world's first novel. Written in long, flowing, lyrical sentences, it concerns the life and loves of Prince Genji and his descendants and is a subtle and thorough delineation of a complex society.

Bibliography

See her diary translated by R. Bowring (1982); classic translation of Genji by Arthur Waley (1925, repr. 2000); modern translations by E. G. Seidensticker (1976), R. Tyler (2001), and D. Washburn (2015).

Murasaki Shikibu

11th-century Japanese court lady, author of The Tale of Genji, perhaps the world's first novel