A study of the heroines and heroes in one of the world's literary masterpieces.


A Japanese literary classic and one of the world's earliest novels, the Tale of Genji was written C.E. 1000 by Murasaki Shikibu, a woman from an aristocratic family. Norma Field, drawing on her own sensitive reading of Genji and on Japanese and Western scholarship, discusses the social, psychological, and political dimensions of the aesthetics of the work, with emphasis on the crucial relationship of erotic and political concerns to prose fiction. The shifting configurations of the tale are exposed, showing how the hero Genji is made and unmade by a series of heroines.  

Norma Field is William J. and Alicia Townsend Friedman Professor in East Asian Languages and Civilizations and Chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago. Her recent publications include From My Grand