Naoyuki Ii ; 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 Kenzaburo Oe 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.