Takashi Hiraide

The Guest Cat

Fiction by Takashi Hiraide

Translated from the Japanese by Eric Selland

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For The Fighting Spirit Of The Walnut

Poetry by Takashi Hiraide

Translated from the Japanese by Sawako Nakayasu

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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

This is a beautiful, ornate read, brimming with philosophical observation, humor and intelligence, leaving the reader anticipating more translated works of Hiraide.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

A wonderful tale about the desire to possess and the pain of absence. And such writing! Precise, delicate, enchanting.


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 Catis 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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