book cover of A Cat, a Man and Two Women

A Cat, a Man and Two Women

(1937)
A collection of stories by

 
 
Tanizaki has long been regarded as one of the giants of twentieth-century Japanese writing. In the postwar period, most of his works have become known worldwide, and his place in modern literature is as assured as it is eminent.

What distinguishes this wonderful new collection--a novella (the title story) and two shorter pieces--is its lightheartedness, its comic realism. All three stories, however, are variations on a favorite theme: dominance and submission in private relationships. The "man" in the title piece is a typical Tanizaki hero--spoiled, self-indulgent, and obstinately ineffectual--caught up in a war between his vindictive former wife and her willful young successor, both rivals of the fourth party in the title: Lily--seductive, elegant, and magnificently in control--a tortoiseshell cat. The struggle among these three female characters for possession of this feckless man, and his bumbling attempts to assert himself, make for a series of richly entertaining confrontations.

This is followed by "The Little Kingdom," which describes the curiously shifting relationship between a hard-pressed schoolteacher and a small but indomitable pupil determined to establish his own rule. And the collection ends with "Professor Rado," a sly portrait of a self-important academic, seen from the point of view of a journalist eager to "get a story." In a series of interviews, the professor responds to questions merely with grunts; but by accident the journalist ultimately discovers a scandalous hidden side to this eminently respectable gentleman--one so comically grotesque that it could only have come from Tanizaki's well-known store of erotic curiosities.

Here is Tanizaki at his best, displaying--in a first international edition--the skills that made Mishima call his writing "above all, delicious, like French or Chinese cuisine."

Genre: General Fiction

Used availability for Junichiro Tanizaki's A Cat, a Man and Two Women

Hardback Editions

November 1990 : USA Hardback
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Title: A Cat, a Man, and Two Women
Author(s): Junichiro Tanizaki
ISBN: 0-87011-755-6 / 978-0-87011-755-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Kodansha USA Inc
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

November 2017 : UK Paperback
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Title: A Cat, a Man, and Two Women
Author(s): Jun'ichiro Tanizaki
ISBN: 1-911547-03-8 / 978-1-911547-03-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Daunt Books
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


August 2015 : USA Paperback
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Title: A Cat, A Man, and Two Women (New Directions Paperbook)
Author(s): Junichiro Tanizaki
ISBN: 0-8112-2449-X / 978-0-8112-2449-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: New Directions
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


1991 : Paperback
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Title: A Cat, a Man, and Two Women (Japan's Modern Writers)
Author(s): Junichiro Tanizaki
ISBN: 4770016050 / 978-4770016058
Publisher: Kodansha USA Inc
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


July 1992 : UK Paperback
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Title: A Cat, a Man and Two Women (Flamingo S.)
Author(s): Junichiro Tanizaki
ISBN: 0-00-654492-4 / 978-0-00-654492-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Flamingo
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

November 2017 : Australia, UK Kindle edition
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Title: A Cat, a Man, and Two Women
Author(s): Junichiro Tanizaki
Publisher: Daunt Books
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU