Book Description: In the tradition of Robert Fagles's translation of the Iliad and the Odyssey, Viking presents a stunning translation of Lady Murasaki's exquisite portrait of courtly life in medieval Japan. Written in the eleventh century, The Tale of Genji is widely celebrated as the world's first novel, but as Donald Keene has observed, it is also "one of its greatest." Genji the Shining Prince, the son of an emperor, is a passionate character whose tempestuous nature, family circumstances, love affairs, alliances, and shifting political fortunes form the core of this magnificent epic. Throughout, The Tale of Genji offers a lively and well-rounded glimpse of golden age Japan with a cast of characters as richly conceived and nuanced as those of Proust. Royall Tyler's superb translation, detailed and poetic, is scrupulously true to the Japanese original but appeals immediately to the modern reader as well. Tyler includes detailed notes, glossaries, character lists, and chronologies to help the reader navigate the multigenerational narrative and its references. Magnificently packaged in a two-volume set with a slipcase, this is a literary event comparable to Seamus Heaney's bestselling translation of Beowulf. It will spark interest in this masterpiece of world literature and serve as the standard edition for many years to come. Translated by Royall Tyler.