The Splendor of Longing in the Tale of Genji

Volume 21
Norma Field
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

Praise / Awards

  • "In highly informed yet sympathetic and persuasive terms, Norma Field delineates the characters of a number of the most important women who figure in the Tale of Genji in order to show the way in which their lives mirror and ultimately explicate the vast structure of this most wonderful of Japanese novels. This is Genji as read and loved by a person of a truly contemporary sensibility."
    --J. Thomas Rimer

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 392pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 2001
  • Available
  • 978-1-929280-05-6

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  • $18.95 U.S.