The first/only American to qualify as a geisha wrote this in the first person, as a semi-fictionalised autobiography of an 11th century author who was also lady-in-waiting to an empress. She was famous for the tales of a character called Genji, but also wrote poems and a journal. The modern author used the journal and poems to construct the story, creating parallels between her life and that of the main characters in her tales. It's a fascinating insight into medieval Japanese court life, with liberal scatterings of poems of a form similar to haiku. Some irritating Americanisms ("gotten"), but wonderfully atmospheric.