The great Japanese author’s most famous novel, in its first new English translation in half a century
No collection of Japanese literature is complete without Natsume Soseki's Kokoro, his most famous novel and the last he completed 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.
About the Author
Natsume Soseki (1867-1916), one of Japan's most influential modern writers, is widely considered the foremost novelist of the Meiji era (1868-1914) and a master of psychological fiction. As well as his works of fiction, his essays, haiku, and kanshi have been influential and are popular even today.
Meredith McKinney (translator) holds a PhD in medieval Japanese literature from the University in Canberra, where she teaches in the Japan Centre. She lived and taught in Japan for twenty years and now lives near Braidwood, New South Wales. Her other translations include Ravine and Other Stories, The Tale of Saigyo, and for Penguin Classics, The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, and Kusamakura.
"This elegant novel...suffuses the reader with a sense of old Japan." —Los Angeles Times
"Soseki is the representative modern Japanese novelist, a figure of truly national stature." —Haruki Murakami
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