The Guest Cat
Translated by Eric Selland
The Sunday Times and New York Times Bestseller
A couple in their thirties live in a small rented cottage in a quiet part of Tokyo. They work at home as freelance writers. They no longer have very much to say to one another.
One day a cat invites itself into their small kitchen. She is a beautiful creature. She leaves, but the next day comes again, and then again and again. New, small joys accompany the cat; the days have more light and colour. Life suddenly seems to have more promise for the husband and wife; they go walking together, talk and share stories of the cat and its little ways, play in the nearby Garden. But then something happens that will change everything again.
The Guest Cat is an exceptionally moving and beautiful novel about the nature of life and the way it feels to live it. Written by Japanese poet and novelist Takashi Hiraide, the book won Japan's Kiyama Shohei Literary Award, and was a bestseller in France and America.
The Guest Cat is a rare treasure . . . beautiful and profound . . . whether you're a cat lover or not, don't pass this one up
This is a gentle, thoughtful and subtly profound work . . . It's the kind of work that makes you ask of its author: "How on earth did he do that?" as you find yourself dabbing your eyes and pausing to look wistfully into the distance . . . You will want to read The Guest Cat more than once, so you notice more details - seeing as you can't do this with life
Nicholas Lezard's Paperback of the Week, Guardian
The language and descriptions are careful, elegant and lovely; while Hiraide's book is ostensibly about a cat, it is more precisely about space and ownership. The book renders an unusually intimate, detailed and vivid picture of a place that is simultaneously private and open.
New York Times