Murasaki Shikibu, The tale of Genji /

Main Author: Bowring, Richard John, 1947-
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1988.
Series: Landmarks of world literature
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Review by Choice Review

The Tale of Genji is the first piece of Asian literature to grace Cambridge's "Landmarks in World Literature" series. Bowring, a noted scholar and author of Murasaki Shikibu: Her Diary and Poetic Memoirs (CH, Nov '82), has produced a superb introductory work on the novel. While answering the demands of such a series to write a work intelligible and interesting to a general audience with no previous exposure to Japanese literature, Bowring has created a work that is stimulating reading even for scholars in the field. Concise yet thorough, he draws on various contemporary critical approaches to reveal the richness in the text. He opens up the novel for the reader to explore in any number of ways. A particularly valuable feature of the book is the "Guide to Further Reading," which both recapitulates the issues raised in the chapters and acts as annotation for the exhaustive bibliography of secondary works in English on the Genji that follows. This work is suitable for all levels of undergraduate study and even of potential use for graduate students. In sum, an excellent work. S. Arntzen University of Alberta

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.