And Then

Soseki Natsume, trans. from the Japanese by Norma Moore Field. Tuttle, $16.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-4-8053-1141-7
This classic from Soseki, the great chronicler of early 20th century Japan, explores the conflict between a young man and his father in Tokyo circa 1905. Daisuke, the spoiled second son of a wealthy family, has a bad case of ennui. Though he is pushing 30, he shows no interest in committing to a relationship or a career, instead choosing to spend time at the kabuki theater with his brother’s wife and to live off his monthly allowance. Despite his father’s efforts at matchmaking, Daisuke clings to bachelorhood, much to the chagrin of his old man, who was born at the end of the Shogunate. Soseki (The Three Cornered World) expertly describes the emerging merchant class of Emperor Meiji’s era with its disaffected younger generation, which eerily parallels Japan’s current crop of “grass-eating men” or the lethargic sons of 1980s go-getters. An unexpected reunion with college chum Hiraoka, and his ailing wife, forces Daisuke to do some soul-searching, leading to an outcome that would be at home in a modern manga plot. Field’s elegant translation includes an informative afterword that puts this novel in context with Soseki’s large body of work. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/12/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Paperback - 3 pages - 978-0-399-50611-6
Hardcover - 277 pages - 978-0-8071-0387-6
Open Ebook - 258 pages - 978-1-4629-0015-2
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