The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon

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Written by the court gentlewoman Sei Shonagon, ostensibly for her own amusement, The Pillow Book offers a fascinating exploration of life among the nobility at the height of the Heian period, describing the exquisite pleasures of a confined world in which poetry, love, fashion, and whim dominated, while harsh reality was kept firmly at a distance. Moving elegantly across a wide range of themes including nature, society, and her own flirtations, Sei Shonagon provides a witty and intimate window on a woman's life at court in classical Japan.

Penguin Classics, 2006.
ISBN: 9780140448061. 364 pp.
Translated by Meredith McKinney.
Illustrated by Sugai Minoru.
Softcover. Very good.