The Guest Cat

The Guest Cat

Takashi Hiraide Eric Selland / Sep 17, 2019

The Guest Cat A bestseller in France and winner of Japan s Kiyama Shohei Literary Award The Guest Cat by the acclaimed poet Takashi Hiraide is a subtly moving and exceptionally beautiful novel about the transien

  • Title: The Guest Cat
  • Author: Takashi Hiraide Eric Selland
  • ISBN: 9780811221504
  • Page: 329
  • Format: Paperback
  • A bestseller in France and winner of Japan s Kiyama Shohei Literary Award, The Guest Cat, by the acclaimed poet Takashi Hiraide, is a subtly moving and exceptionally beautiful novel about the transient nature of life and idiosyncratic but deeply felt ways of living A couple in their thirties live in a small rented cottage in a quiet part of Tokyo they work at home, freelA bestseller in France and winner of Japan s Kiyama Shohei Literary Award, The Guest Cat, by the acclaimed poet Takashi Hiraide, is a subtly moving and exceptionally beautiful novel about the transient nature of life and idiosyncratic but deeply felt ways of living A couple in their thirties live in a small rented cottage in a quiet part of Tokyo they work at home, freelance copy editing they no longer have very much to say to one another But one day a cat invites itself into their small kitchen It leaves, but the next day comes again, and then again and again Soon they are buying treats for the cat and enjoying talks about the animal and all its little ways Life suddenly seems to have promise for the husband and wife the days have light and color The novel brims with new small joys and many moments of staggering poetic beauty, but then something happens.As Kenzaburo Oe has remarked, Takashi Hiraide s work really shines His poetry, which is remarkably cross hatched with beauty, has been acclaimed here for its seemingly endless string of shape shifting objects and experiences,whose splintering effect is enacted via a unique combination of speed and minutiae.

    The Guest Cat Takashi Hiraide, Eric Selland The Guest Cat Takashi Hiraide, Eric Selland on FREE shipping on qualifying offers A wonderful sui generis novel about a visiting cat who brings joy into a couple s life in Tokyo A bestseller in France and winner of Japan s Kiyama Shohei Literary Award The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide The Guest Cat . Rating details , Ratings , Reviews A bestseller in France and winner of Japan s Kiyama Shohei Literary Award, The Guest Cat, by the acclaimed poet Takashi Hiraide, is a subtly moving and exceptionally beautiful novel about the transient nature of life and idiosyncratic but deeply felt ways of living. Book Review The Guest Cat By Takashi Hiraide NPR Buy Featured Book A best seller in France and recipient of Japan s prestigious Kiyama Shohei Literary Award, The Guest Cat is a rare treasure In just under pages, it spans a wide spectrum of emotion and detail Takashi Hiraide, the Japanese poet and novelist, blindsided me His prose so illuminating and achingly poetic made me care. The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide, Paperback Barnes Noble A wonderful sui generis novel about a visiting cat who brings joy into a couple s life in TokyoA bestseller in France and winner of Japan s Kiyama Shohei Literary Award, The Guest Cat, by the acclaimed poet Takashi Hiraide, is a subtly moving and exceptionally beautiful novel about the transient nature of life and idiosyncratic but deeply felt ways The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide review a meditation on The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide review a meditation on change This is a gentle, thoughtful and subtly profound work, utterly without pretension or pyrotechnics, by a Japanese poet in his s, and The Guest Cat Takashi Hiraide Description 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 by Hiraide Takashi World Literature Today The Guest Cat by Hiraide Takashi The Guest Cat is, at its heart, a novel of loss, told in sparse, precise prose unencumbered by sweeping rhetorical flourishes or complex figurative language concerned with its own cleverness than with the flow of the narrative In this, many may see the poetic side of The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide Professional Moron Mar , Some cat this week courtesy of Japanese critic, poet, and novelist Takashi Hiraide The year old became a surprise bestseller in the West with The Guest Cat, in a success that really highlights how publishers seem to have no idea what s going to become a hit But if something is, then we d much rather Summary and reviews of The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide Book Summary A bestseller in France and winner of Japan s Kiyama Shohei Literary Award, The Guest Cat, by the acclaimed poet Takashi Hiraide, is a subtly moving and exceptionally beautiful novel about the transient nature of life and idiosyncratic but deeply felt ways of living A couple in their thirties live in a small rented cottage in The Guest Cat NPR The Guest Cat NPR coverage of The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide and translator Eric Selland News, author interviews, critics picks and .

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    About "Takashi Hiraide Eric Selland"

      • Takashi Hiraide Eric Selland

        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 has also written a novel, A Guest Cat a biography of Meiji poet Irako Seihaku and a travelogue that follows the traces of Kafka, Celan, and Benjamin in Berlin His poetry book, Postcards to Donald Evans, is published by the Tibor de Nagy Foundation Hiraide is a professor of Art Science and Poetics as well as a core member of the new Institute for Art Anthropology at Tama Art University For the Fighting Spirit of the Walnut won the 2009 Best Translated Book Award for poetry.


    824 Comments

    1. I'm no expert in literature, but I'd hazard a guess that any problems readers may have with this book are based in cultural differences rather than any literary failings with the book itself. The book is very Japanese in that it focuses/describes one element at a time. Its poetry is in its illustration of people, places, and things, not of events, which is pretty counter to my experience of Western literature. It's so descriptive that at many points I found myself wishing I had an iota of artist [...]


    2. observation is at its core an expression of love which doesn’t get caught up in sentiment.Those green eyes glowing in the dark ceaselessly, endowing the cover of this book with a breath of life, a dream of plenitude - those eyes were an irresistible enticement. An immediate move was imperative; The Guest Cat had to be on my shelf. Unfortunately, my expectations were far too great, especially taking into account the fact that one of the ingredients of this plot is supposed to be a couple who no [...]


    3. A spring breeze at dawn -Takashi Hiraide's wordsLike dewdrops on cat's whiskers.***I still can recall the expression on my students’ faces when I explained the rules of writing haiku poems to them. It was a mixture of bewilderment and incredulity. They seemed to be asking: you must be joking, it’s sure not enough to be called a poem?! I think the kids’ reaction is similar to many adults’. Especially nowadays, when we live so fast that immortalizing moments and stopping for a while just t [...]


    4. “Observation is at its core an expression of love which doesn’t get caught up in sentiment.”From first page’s delicate description of an optical illusion seen on a frosted window pane, this novella painstakingly documents minute and admiring observations, one object at a time. Nature features strongly: the cat, trees, butterflies, insects, but also windows and boundaries. The focus is on poetic beauty in the moment (like haiku), without shadow of sentiment, even when there is good cause [...]


    5. This is a beautiful little book. Typically Japanese with lovely lyrical descriptions. Not much happens in the book but it is very evocative and I felt a sense of loss when it was finished.A young Japanese couple who work from home live in a tiny cottage on the edge of a larger estate in a quiet part of Tokyo. The estate has a beautiful old traditional Japanese garden which they are allowed to use by the old couple living in the big house. One day a stray cat is adopted by their neighbours who na [...]


    6. “Cats are connoisseurs of comfort.”----James HerriotTakashi Hiraide, a Japanese writer, has penned a soul touching and thoroughly captivating tale about a cat and a couple's relationship in his book, The Guest Cat that is centered around a mid aged couple who are freelance writers and work from their rented cottage and lead a very quite and uneventful life, but one day their life brings purpose as an uninvited as well as the neighbor's cat lands up to their kitchen and starts visiting their [...]


    7. (2.5) Sigh. Such a disappointment. As a cat-loving freelance writer who aspires to read more literature in translation, I thought from the blurb that this book could not be more perfect for me. I bought it in a charity shop one afternoon and started reading right away. It’s only 140 pages, so I finished within 24 hours, but felt at a distance from the story the whole time.Part of it might be the translation – the translator’s notes at the end explain some useful context about the late 1980 [...]


    8. for cross-cultural reasons this was a challenging read; I still struggle with the ending, particularly.The sentence structure and carefully pruned language are sublime and I simply loved the experience of reading the story. Seeing the settings come alive was like watching someone paint in front of me. However I was always aware I was only seeing the surface of the story, missing everything underneath. The translator's notes at the back helped a great deal, and I need to re-read now. Highly recom [...]


    9. I really really wanted to like this book, but I found it entirely forgettable. I think this might be an example of something being "lost in translation", since much of the profound nature of Asian literature seems to get wiped away in English versions. The prose was poetic and lyrical nonetheless, and I got a very vivid picture of the lives of the couple and their interactions with the cat. But as the plot developed I lost the connection to the philosophical and metaphorical, and at the end of t [...]


    10. "It's best to go empty-handed…"An almost perfect little book, as delicate as a netsuke. Its tale is simple – a young bohemian couple is adopted by a neighbor's cat, who is treated as a guest, not a pet.Chibi was a jewel of a cat. Her pure white fur was mottled with several lampblack blotches containing just bit of light brown. The sort of cat you might see just about anywhere in Japan, except she was especially slim and tiny.I didn't realize until I'd almost finished the book that "Chibi" ap [...]


    11. On me čeka, on me verno čeka, na vratima jedna njuuuška meka Ok, ovaj uvodni kič preuzet je iz "Srećnih ljudi", serije koja se, GLE ČUDA, premijerno reprizira na javnom servisu po šurnajsti put. Elem, moram da priznam da mi upravo taj uvodni kič daje dobar šlagvort za kratak osvrt na "Gošću", romančić koji je prethodnih dana pazarilo bar 79256278934256 mojih GR i IG kontakata, prvenstveno zahvaljujući preslatkoj mački na koricama, I guess. Da nastavimo: Život teče, a vreme nas g [...]


    12. Pet owners are generally divided into either “Cat people” or “dog people” categories. One never seems to fully understand the other. In Takashi Hiraide’s novella, “The Guest Cat”, an unnamed married couple (who aren’t necessarily cat people) becomes attached to Chibi: a neighbor’s cat/stray.“The Guest Cat” is a simple novella in terms of a plotline. One can seemingly predict what takes place when a couple falls in love with a cat that begins visiting their home. Look deeper [...]


    13. OK, I admit it. I love cats and I was snookered into this one mainly by the cover and the review wasn't bad at all. It's kind of like buying wine by the labelif it's cute, I buy it! Boy, can you get stuck! In this case, once again, I got stuck. I just didn't get it! It was NOT at all what I was hoping for. Didn't like the writing, didn't like the setting (very confusing descriptions), the characters were less than interesting and the cat was not appealing at all! That's saying a lot from a cat l [...]


    14. This story takes place in Japan in the 1980s. The couple, one a freelance writer the other a proof-reader and editor, work from home. Over time communication decreases between them as they are involved in their solitary work. One day a neighbor’s cat wanders into their home. Chibi begins to make regular visits to them. The cat brings them small pleasures that allow them to reconnect with each other.The book is extremely well written. It is short only three and a half hours long (140 pages). Th [...]


    15. Esta es una nouvelle ideal para todos los amantes de la literatura japonesa y, sobre todo, de los gatos.No hay misterio, no hay acción. Simplemente se trata de la vida de un matrimonio que se muda lejos de la ciudad y de su relación con un gato vecino.Lo lindo de este tipo de historias es que se aprende mucho de la cultura japonesa y de sus costumbres.La naturaleza, el paso de las estaciones y la casa donde viven son también protagonistas de este relato cargado de reflexiones (me sorprendió [...]


    16. I wanted to give this five stars, but I don't know if it's really that good. It's a remarkable and unique book. The style of the narration is so unassuming that it could be a problem for readers expecting a traditional story. It took me a minute to realize what the writer was doing. This book is, at least to some degree, about mindfulness and Zen, for want of a better word. Of course that's to be expected, since the writer is Japanese. You do not need to like cats at all to enjoy this book. The [...]


    17. Ova knjiga me je samo jos vise zainteresovala za cudnu japnsku naciju i kulturu Kao sto je vec neko rekao u svom rivjuu, svi smo kupili ovu knjigu zbog slatke naslovnice i zato sto nam je sadrzaj delovao interesantno i misleci da ce biti vezan za macku.Macka, gosca, u ovoj knjizi je kao i sto sam naslov kaze, gosca, odnosno sporedni element koji se promaja kroz knjigu. Glavna tema je zivot bracnog para i kako je ta ista macka uticala na njih. Mozda segment koji me je najvise iznervirao je odnos [...]


    18. I am completely rubbish at reviews but I could not put this little book down! I became so absorbed in the Japanese couple's life and how they adored the cat. The way the book is written is poetic and very descriptive, so much so that you can paint a vivid image in your mind of how their home looks, how the garden looks and so on. I genuinely just really enjoyed myself reading this delightful book.


    19. There's no way to be sure just how much the translator is responsible for my not liking this book, but he may be a large part of the reason I finally took the book back to the library about two-thirds of the way through it. The early promise of simple elegance never gets beyond precious word choice, soggy subtlety, and vapid characters. I was aching for light and color, for a heartbeat that never came.


    20. This philosophical, poetic book is infused with Japanese culture. The ability of the author to describe ordinary life and ordinary days and an ordinary neighborhood in such simple, profound ways was outstanding. This was translated into English so I think the translator should get some credit. However, realistically, some of the beauty or context of the original text may have been "lost in translation". Although, on the surface, the story could be about the guest cat, Chibi, I think it was more [...]


    21. This was a lovely, luminous, and sad little book. For me, it evoked memories of adopted strays from my past: a bittersweet last meal for a fluffy tabby tomcat, as he eagerly leaned in for me to pet him while he scarfed up the cat food I offered, and I felt twinges of guilt at my knowledge that the food would not be there the next day, that our belongings would be packed up, our lives continued elsewhere, while he would show up again, expecting no disruption of his cyclical needs and his daily jo [...]


    22. 3.5 starsWhen I first came across this small 140-page paperback in a large bookstore last year, it reminded me of "I Am a Cat" (Tuttle, 2001) by Natsume Soseki. It was a fairly longish novel I read in 2012 and found it argueably enjoyable due to the author's observant ways of looking at his cat as well as his wife and friends, sense of humor, witty dialogs, and so on. I thought Mr Takashi Hiraide might have been inspired to write on a cat like Soseki (it is different from Soseki's in that she is [...]


    23. A quiet book about a Japanese couple who become enamored with their neighbor's cat. On the surface, very simple and straightforward, but there are many layers here. The book works as a meditation on love and loss. The more we nurture something the more we feel it's loss when it's gone. That's a given. We all understand that. The author suggests this is a model way to live. But how does one come to cultivate a garden, for instance, when the things of this world are in a perpetual state of flux? T [...]


    24. Delightful book about a guest cat who visits a couple in their but also looks at life in general too of emotions, loss and longing




    25. Nicely written. Full of nature of today in Japan. There is a poetic resonance as the author describes the impact a stray cat has when it moves into the neighbourhood.


    26. The back cover of this beautiful little novella is filled with testimonials describing the book with such words as 'gentle', 'thoughtful', 'elegant', 'lyrical', 'captivating'. I agree with all of those, and I'll add another word to the list - absorbing.I've always been a cat person, and before my current little four pawed darling I had my own 'Chibi'. A little black and white puss called Holly who lived in a neighboring abode, and started visiting. Hiraide is masterful in the way he captures the [...]


    27. ¿Qué mejor regalo que el amor de un gato? - Charles DickensSin duda, una de las novelas que más me costó leer, quizá porque recurrí a ella en un momento donde necesitaba sentirme reconfortada tras la partida de mi querido gordito gatuno Tomi. Uno puede pensar que este tipo de libros no sean la mejor opción tras una pérdida, así como algunos recurren a las baladas deprimentes cuando se sienten abandonados en un pozo oscuro. "El gato que venía del cielo" me significó mucho para mí, pri [...]


    28. 3½ stars.This was a charming book which was a quick read. However, I feel perhaps I should have taken a bit more time with it. I felt that I could sense that the writer was a poet, even in translation; his imagery was evocative. On the surface, this is a simple story of a couple who meet and eventually fall in love with a neighbor's cat. I happen to be a cat person so I could relate to the descriptions of the cat's play and habits; I think though that the cat & her habits were also a metaph [...]


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