The Tale of Murasaki
By Liza Dalby
(Anchor, Paperback, 9780385497954, 448pp.)
Publication Date: August 21, 2001
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The Tale of Murasaki is an elegant and brilliantly authentic historical novel by the author of Geisha and the only Westerner ever to have become a geisha.
In the eleventh century Murasaki Shikibu wrote the world’s first novel, The Tale of Genji, the most popular work in the history of Japanese literature. In The Tale of Murasaki, Liza Dalby has created a breathtaking fictionalized narrative of the life of this timeless poet–a lonely girl who becomes such a compelling storyteller that she is invited to regale the empress with her tales. The Tale of Murasaki is the story of an enchanting time and an exotic place. Whether writing about mystical rice fields in the rainy mountains or the politics and intrigue of the royal court, Dalby breathes astonishing life into ancient Japan.
Author of Geisha and Kimono and the only Westerner ever to have become a geisha, Liza Dalby is a consultant for Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film adaptation of Memoirs of a Geisha. She lives in Berkeley, California.
“Luscious, lush and languorously elegant.... You feel you are breathing the air of 11th-century Japan.”
“Liza Dalby is not just a remarkable scholar of Japan--she is a keen storyteller.”
--Arthur Golden, author of Memoirs of a Geisha
“An impressive spectacle.... Demands to be savored and appreciated.”
--San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle
“An amazing feat.... Anyone already an enthusiast either of [The Tale of] Genji or of Arthur Golden’s wonderful Memoirs of a Geisha will already be running to the bookstore for this book.... A wonderful accomplishment.”--Newsday
“Exquisite and poetic.... A leisurely, rich novel told in a dreamy style.... Elegant.”
--The Times-Picayune (New Orleans)
“Captivating.... The Tale of Murasaki gets the big things right, including, indispensably, the dark undercurrent of sadness running below the bright, embroidered surface.... All this, and much more, rings so true to the created milieu of Genji that one is inclined to indulge Dalby in all she has dreamed or imagined.”
--The Washington Post Book World
“Authentic.... Re-creates the life of an 11th-century Scheherazade.”