The Guest Cat By Takashi Hiraide

Book review (submitted by Bruce Royall)

The guest cat By Takashi Hiraide ; translated from the Japanese by Eric Selland.


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. The book won Japan’s Kiyama Shohei Literary Award, and was a bestseller in France and America.


I was surprised at the lasting impression this short (140 pages) story made on me. A rewarding read. Recommended ****

The author is a poet whose light touch creates a series of refreshing perspectives into people and other animals.

Published 2014 in paperback by Picador

Copy available for loan from:

Lithgow Library Learning Centre, in the Fiction section at F HIR.

The Guest Cat