Synopses & Reviews
No collection of Japanese literature is complete without Natsume Soseki's Kokoro
, his most famous novel and the last he complete before his death. Published here in the first new translation in more than fifty years, Kokoro
--meaning "heart"-is the story of a subtle and poignant friendship between two unnamed characters, a young man and an enigmatic elder whom he calls "Sensei". Haunted by tragic secrets that have cast a long shadow over his life, Sensei slowly opens up to his young disciple, confessing indiscretions from his own student days that have left him reeling with guilt, and revealing, in the seemingly unbridgeable chasm between his moral anguish and his student's struggle to understand it, the profound cultural shift from one generation to the next that characterized Japan in the early twentieth century.
Hailed by The New Yorker as rich in understanding and insight, Kokoro -- the heart of things -- is the work of one of Japan's most popular authors. This thought-provoking trilogy of stories explores the very essence of loneliness and stands as a stirring introduction to modern Japanese literature.
About the Author
(1867-1916) is widely considered the foremost novelist of the Meiji era.
Meredith McKinney is the translator of the Penguin Classics editions of The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon and Natsume Soseki's Kusamakura. She teaches in Japan Centre at the Australian National University.