The Guest Cat – Takashi Hiraide

The Guest Cat was on my to-read list for a really long time, and now that I’ve finished it, I’m a bit sad. I love cats (a lot!) and Japanese literature, so I felt like I had to read it. On the other hand, whenever I read a book with cats in it, I find myself crying, but I can’t stop reading them. This book didn’t surprise me as well and I cried in a calm and beautiful way. (Yes, it is possible!)


The Guest Cat – Takashi Hiraide

The Guest Cat caught my eyes with its beautiful cover, and I was intrigued by both the Japanese author and the cat in the book’s title. And I couldn’t help but get excited when the characters were a married couple, and both of them were writers. Living in a beautiful house, which the author described in detail, this couple will have an exceptional relationship with Chibi; the neighbour’s cat. This unusual cat will change the couple’s lives in every way, and they will be surprised how a cat can have such power. The author has a unique style and the way he described that particular house is just amazing. 

I think that all cat lovers and Japanese literature enthusiasts will enjoy this book.

About the book: The Guest Cat

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.


About the author: Takashi Hiraide

Takashi Hiraide was born in Moji, Kitakyushu in 1950. Hiraide has written numerous books of poetry and 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. His novel, The Guest Cat, is a New York Times Bestseller.

The Guest Cat - Takashi Hiraide

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

Japanese Literature – A Literary Journey

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