A woman who wrote the first novel
Murasaki Shikibu, a Japanese noble woman, wrote the world’s first full novel in the year 1007. Called “The tale of Genji,” it tells the story of a prince looking for love and wisdom. In its English translation it covers 54 chapters over 1000 pages of text. By the Middle Ages there were many novels about kings and heroic knights but in the late 1500s the anti-romance movement took roots and villains became the main characters. The first such novel was “Life of Lazarillo de Tormes”, written in 1554 by an unknown author. It is the story of a poor boy who makes his way in the world by tricking his employers. The anti-novel was invented by the French. Anti-novel writers insist that traditional novels sketch a false appearance of the world in much the the same way as television soap operas do. Instead of creating fantasy plots and characters, anti-novelists emphasize the minute details of life and the world. The author who wrote the most novels ever also is a women. Dame Barbara Cartland (1901 – 2000) completed a novel every two weeks, publishing more than 723 novels, which sold more than 1 billion copies in 36 languages, making her the best-selling novelist of all time.