'One is repeatedly moved by the delicacy of the imagery and the understated precision' New Statesman
The successful writer Oki has reached middle age and is filled with regrets. He returns to Kyoto to find Otoko, a young woman with whom he had a terrible affair many years before, and discovers that she is now a painter, living with a younger woman as her lover. Otoko has continued to love Oki and has never forgotten him, but his return unsettles not only her but also her young lover.
This is a work of strange beauty, with a tender touch of nostalgia and a heartbreaking sensitivity to those things lost forever.
Beauty and Sadness was Kawabata's final book before his suicide in 1972.