Oh Tama! A Mejiro Novel
About Oh Tama! A Mejiro Novel
Oh, Tama! A Mejiro Novel was written by Mieko Kanai and is a deeply eccentric novel about lives and connections—and a cat of course—in 1980's Tokyo: witty, offbeat, and strangely profound.
Oh, Tama! describes the haphazard lives of Natsuyuki Kanemitsu and his loosely connected circle of dysfunctional acquaintances and family. Natsuyuki is prevailed upon by his friend Alexandre, an occasional porn-film actor, to adopt the very pregnant cat Tama, who gives birth and remains throughout the novel as a silent observer of her human hosts.
Further complications arise surrounding the mystery of who the father of Alexandre's sister Tsuneko's unborn child is, with Tsuneko (a bar owner) happy to collect money from anyone who may be responsible. One of these possible dads turns out to be Natsuyuki's half-brother, abandoned and forgotten long ago as easily as Tama has parted with her kittens.
A "fast and comedic novel," Oh, Tama! plays out against a backdrop of cramped apartments and cheap food and drink where everyone seems to have an opinion on film, photography, and fashionable French art theory. It is part of the author's esteemed series of "Meijiro" novels, named after the northwest area of Tokyo that so richly informs their urbanity and outlook.