The Book of Loss by Julith Jedamus

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Set in the perfectly realized world of imperial tenth-century Japan, The Book of Loss is a gripping novel of sexual jealousy at court.
A renowned storyteller and lady-in-waiting to the Empress, the narrator is locked in a bitter rivalry with another woman for the love of a banished nobleman. Forced to observe the complex rules and social hierarchies of court life, she finds herself caught in a trap of her own making. Her machinations reach such a pitch that they threaten to undermine the rule of the Emperor himself. She records her plight, and her acidulous observations of courtly life, in her diary. Her voice is unforgettable--both foreign and utterly modern. Her sense of loss is unbearable, her love is all-consuming, and it will push her to the extremes of rivalry.
Offering the intimate seductions and betrayals of Dangerous Liaisons and The Memoirs of a Geisha, The Book of Loss takes the reader into the farthest reaches of desire, where passion rules and jealousy leads to unthinkable acts.

About Julith Jedamus

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JULITH JEDAMUS was born in Boulder, Colorado, and has a background in art history. For the past nine years she has lived with her family in London. The Book of Loss is her first novel.
Published January 1, 2005 by phoenix. 240 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The narrator, resentful of the more effusive letters lovelier Izumi receives, spreads a false rumor about Kanesuke and the vestal’s half-sister Sadako, causing Sadako’s disgrace.

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Publishers Weekly

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Told in the style of the classical Japanese women's diaries from the Heian era (794–1185 C.E.) Jedamus's first book is a melodramatic court romance.

Apr 24 2006 | Read Full Review of The Book of Loss

Historical Novel Society

The preoccupation with darkness and the claustrophobic setting of the women’s quarters at court give the novel a somewhat gothic feel, and though none of the characters are truly sympathetic, their lives and interactions are engrossing.

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