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The Guest Cat Paperback – January 28, 2014
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“What initially reads like free association turns out to be a near-microscopic record of emotion and phenomena.”
- Alan Gilbert, The Believer
“The best novels are often the ones that change us. Over time, they stay with us- like small miracles. Takashi Hiraide, the Japanese poet and novelist, blindsided me- he shows himself to be a poet of the highest grade. A rare treasure, beautiful and profound; whether you're a cat lover or not, don't pass this one up. ultimately, it's about what it means to love and to lose. Even dog lovers will relate.”
- Juan Vidal, NPR
“A beautiful, ornate read, brimming with philosophical observation, humor and intelligence.”
- Publishers Weekly
“An unusually intimate, detailed and vivid picture of a place that is simultaneously private and open.”
- V.V. Ganeshananthan, The New York Times Book Review
“It’s clear there is a tradition of literary works centering on or featuring cats in modern Japanese, and we now have from New Directions a translation of a splendid addition to that list. (...) a work of subtleties revealed only with repeated readings. I recommend it unreservedly to the general reader.”
- Paul McCarthy, The Japan Times
“The little feline sets off a chain of disquisitions on nature, destiny, joy, pleasure, and sorrow”
- Nina Sankovitch, Huffington Post
“A wonderful tale about the desire to possess and the pain of absence. And such writing! Precise, delicate, enchanting.”
“Hiraide's work really shines”
- Kenzaburo Oe
About the Author
Takashi Hiraide was born in Moji, Kitakyushu in 1950. He has published numerous books of poetry as well as several books of genre-bending essays, including one on poetics and baseball. He currently lives in the west suburbs of Tokyo with a cat and his wife, the poet Michiyo Kawano.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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Before long, the couple find themselves not only looking forward to these visits for Chibi, but they make room for it in their home, feeding it and providing it with a second home whenever it is not with the boy next door. Their world suddenly becomes more interesting and colorful. They begin to notice and enjoy life anew. But then something unexpected happens.
This slim novel about alienation and taking the time to enjoy life's fleeting moments is beautifully written.
I intent to read this again sometime.