A stirring and insightful novel from an author Japan Quarterly calls “a Japanese writer of genius.”From beloved author Soseki Natsume,And Then tells the story of Daisuke, a man in his twenties who is struggling with his personal purpose and identity as well as the changing social landscape of Meiji-era Japan. As Japan enters the 20th Century, ancient customs give way to Western ideals, and Daisuke works to resolve his feelings of disconnection and abandonment during this time of change. Thanks to his father’s wealth, Daisuke has the luxury of having time to develop his philosophies and ruminate on their meaning while remaining intellectually aloof from traditional Japanese culture and the demands of growing industrialization.
Daisuke’s life takes an unexpected turn when he is reunited with his college friend and his sickly wife. At first, Daisuke’s stoicism allows him to act according to his intellect, but his intellectual fortress begins to show its vulnerabilities as his emotions start to hold greater sway over his inner life. Daisuke must now weigh his choices in a culture that has always operated on the razor’s edge of societal obligation and personal freedom.
And Then is a powerful novel of an individual swept up in the floods of change.