The Writer’s Cats by Muriel Barbery, illustrated by Maria Guitart and translated by Alison Anderson.

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09 December 2021
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The story of a bestselling novelist and the paws behind the pen… 

The strange symbiosis between writers and cats is well-documented through history, from Charles Bukowski’s one-eared tomcat, to ‘Daddy’, Sylvia Plath’s curiously named companion, and this relationship often extends beyond that of a typical pet. Many authors have confessed that their cats are an integral part of their writing life. Joyce Carol Oates says ‘I write so much because my cat sits on my lap. She purrs so I don’t want to get up. She’s so much more calming than my husband’ and Gloria Steinem calls cats ‘a writer’s most logical and agreeable companion’. 

Muriel Barbery has written many novels, including the international bestseller The Elegance of the Hedgehog, but now her cats want to tell their own story. With warm-hearted wit and stunning illustrations, The Writer’s Cats introduces Barbery’s four Chartreux cats, and all the ways they keep her company as she works from her house in the French countryside, entertaining her with their quirks and foibles, inspiring her with their beauty, and soothing her nerves. Kirin, Ocha, Mizu and Petrus explain that they guide their owner’s writing in the right direction – flicking aside sections of her manuscript with a disdainful tail, pointing an approving paw at others. 

Like many other cats through history their contributions to the world of literature have gone unappreciated by the wider world, and it’s time these put-upon literary consultants got the recognition they deserve.

Illustrated by Maria Guitart and translated from the French by Alison Anderson, The Writer’s Cats is the perfect gift for cat lovers and book lovers everywhere, and a sorely needed insight into the hard work and dedication of every writer’s cat. 

The Writer’s Cats can be purchased at all book retailers, including Amazon and Waterstones.

 

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