Takashi Hiraide

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

Fiction by Takashi Hiraide

Translated from the Japanese by Eric Selland

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.…
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For The Fighting Spirit Of The Walnut

Poetry by Takashi Hiraide

Translated from the Japanese by Sawako Nakayasu

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.
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An unusually intimate, detailed and vivid picture of a place that is simultaneously private and open.
The New York Times Book Review
It’s clear there is a tradition of literary works centering on or featuring cats in modern Japanese, and we now have from New Directions a translation of a splendid addition to that list. … a work of subtleties revealed only with repeated readings. I recommend it unreservedly to the general reader.
—Paul McCarthy, The Japan Times
The little feline sets off a chain of disquisitions on nature, destiny, joy, pleasure, and sorrow.
Huffington Post
A seemingly endless string of shape-shifting objects and experiences, whose splintering effect is enacted via a unique combination of speed and minutiae: what initially reads like free association turns out to be a near-microscopic record of emotions and phenomena.
—Alan Gilbert, The Believer
Hiraide’s work really shines
—Kenzaburo Oe
The Guest Cat is a rare treasure.
Even in translation, [Hiraide’s] fine poetry really shines. At times I am reminded of T.S. Eliot.
—Kenzaburo Oe
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