The Pillow Book

The Pillow Book Cover

The Pillow Book

By Sei Shonagon; Meredith McKinney (Translator)

Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780140448061, 364pp.

Publication Date: November 1, 2007

The classic portrayal of court life in tenth-century Japan
Written by the court gentlewoman Sei Shonagon, ostensibly for her own amusement, "The Pillow Book" offers a fascinating exploration of life among the nobility at the height of the Heian period, describing the exquisite pleasures of a confined world in which poetry, love, fashion, and whim dominated, while harsh reality was kept firmly at a distance. Moving elegantly across a wide range of themes including nature, society, and her own flirtations, Sei Shonagon provides a witty and intimate window on a woman's life at court in classical Japan.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust theseries to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-datetranslations by award-winning translators.

About the Author

Sei Shonagon (c. 966a1017) was a gentlewoman in the court of Empress Teishi in what is now Kyoto, Japan.
Meredith McKinney lived and taught in Japan for twenty years and now teaches in the Japan Centre at the Australian National University.