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The Tale of Genji is one of the most important novels in Japanese and world literature and is also one of the few written by a female author, but it’s not exactly reader-friendly at over 1,000 pages with long lists of characters that don’t even have formal names. This presentation by East Asian literature scholar and author Wendelin Gray will break down the important points of the novel, explore its artistic and historical significance, and give potential readers some tips on how to get the most out of the text in both English translation and the original Japanese versions.
Wendelin Gray is a linguist, writer, dancer, a long-time volunteer with the Silk Screen Arts Organization, and a regular contributor to Pittsburgh Japanese Culture Society events. Her novels include Kumori and the Lucky Cat, The Haunting at Ice Pine Peak, The Vulpecula Cycle, and The Weary City. She won the bronze for Young Adult Fiction E-Book at the 2016 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards for The Haunting at Ice Pine Peak, and in 2017 she founded a new educational project on Korean Studies, the Enlightened Rabbit Scholastic Society (enlightenedrabbit.wordpress.com). She blogs about East Asian language and literature at icepinepalace.wordpress.com and sunrisesintheeast.wordpress.com.
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