Murasaki Shikibu was an 11th-century Japanese court lady who wrote the long, psychologically astute work of literature called 

The Tale of Genji. This Japanese classic has been recognized as the world's first novel.

Recounted in the voice of Lady Murasaki at the end of her life, Liza Dalby's novel, The Tale of Murasaki, is about this remarkable woman and her life in the Heian era, Japan's golden age of high aesthetics, sexual politics, and literary brilliance.

~ A study in how to write historical fiction ~