An abridged edition of the world’s first novel, in a translation that is “likely to be the definitive edition . . . for many years to come” (The Wall Street Journal)
The inspiration behind The Metropolitan Museum of Art's "The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated" — Now through June 16 at The Met Fifth Avenue A Penguin Classic
Written in the eleventh century, this exquisite portrait of courtly life in medieval Japan is widely celebrated as the world’s first novel—and is certainly one of its finest. Genji, the Shining Prince, is the son of an emperor. He is a passionate character whose tempestuous nature, family circumstances, love affairs, alliances, and shifting political fortunes form the core of this magnificent epic. Royall Tyler’s superior translation is detailed, poetic, and superbly true to the Japanese original while allowing the modern reader to appreciate it as a contemporary treasure. In this deftly abridged edition, Tyler focuses on the early chapters, which vividly evoke Genji as a young man and leave him at his first moment of triumph. This edition also includes detailed notes, glossaries, character lists, and chronologies.