Per Sidenius seemingly has it all. As the twentieth century dawns, this son of a poor minister has put his sad childhood behind him: he’s quickly becoming famous as a forward and freethinking man of the “New Age” and is about to marry a wealthy Jewish heiress.
It’s just then that doubts appear—Sidenius starts to question his life, down to its very foundations. As these questions sink in, and outside events, from financial pain to illicit trysts stretch him to his limits, he is revealed as a man in crisis who must decide where he stands. He is the perfect symbol of a nation—and a culture—that is not as brave, ambitious, or solid as it likes to boast. Painting a vast canvas of prewar Europe that stretches from Denmark to Rome, A Fortunate Man is a vital rediscovery, a novel praised by Thomas Mann and Georg Lukacs that can stand with the greatest realist masterworks of the twentieth century.