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.
A New York Times bestseller 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 copyediting, and 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 more promise for the husband and wife — the days have more light and color. The novel brims with new small joys and many moments of staggering poetic beauty, but then something happens...
The radiant subway. The wall that clears up, endless. A thundering prayer of steel that fastens together the days, a brush of cloud hanging upon it, O beginning, it is there—your nest. Thus the keynotes of Hiraide’s utterly original book-length poem unfold—a mix of narrative, autobiography, minute scientific observations, poetics, rhetorical experiments, hyper-realistic images, and playful linguistic subversions—all scored with the precision of a mathematical-musical structure.