The Shadow of a Blue Cat
Translated by Wayne P. Lammers
Businessman Yuki Yajima is fifty-one years old. He and his wife, Asako, are the parents of two daughters: Ryo, seventeen, and Yuka, an infant of only two months. Asking himself why he's allowed himself to become a father again at his age, Yuki begins to remember his uncle, who died quite young—younger, indeed, than Yuki is now. Thinking of this man, whom the young Yuki idolized, and who first introduced the boy to authors like Kenzaburō Ōe and the Marquis de Sade, serves as a strange tipping point: allowing a sense of chaos and complexity back into his otherwise well-heeled life. A rare work of fiction focused simply on a man of integrity—a dying breed, in novels—The Shadow of a Blue Cat meticulously renders his life and opinions as Yuki tries to find a middle path between the radicalism of his uncle's life and the quiet bourgeois home he's worked so hard to build.
Nb of pages 272 p.
GTIN13 (EAN13) 9781564786418
Publication Date 01 July 2011
Nb of pages 272
Dimensions 5.5 x 8 in.
List Price $17.95
Perhaps I should start with a disclaimer. I am not some fresh-faced kid of seventeen or twenty, or even an upstart of thirty, which some people actually argue should be considered below the age of majority these days. No, the fact is, I've already slid right on past the big five-oh—a milestone no one thinks is very pretty and few are eager to reach—to become a man of fifty-one.
Now if a reader were to say that it’s unsettling to have someone who’s passed the half-century mark presenting himself as the narrator of a novel styled after the young writers of a generation ago, I would have to agree he has a point. But however much I may agree, I expect to press ahead in exactly such a style, for as I struggle to come to terms with my fifty-something self, it has become all too uncomfortably clear to me that a style more suited to a man my age simply does not exist.
As I begin writing, I will in my own mind be telling this story to my uncle—my father’s younger brother—feeling curious as to how he might react to it. Except, unfortunately, he died some three decades ago. He was a mere thirty-nine at the time, which is to say, still quite young—though to the college student I was then, he represented a decidedly middle-aged figure.
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Genres : Fiction : East Asia and Pacific
Countries : Japan