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When 24-year-old Nick Bradley first arrived at Narita Airport in 2006, he had envisioned a gap year with the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme as a way to travel and have adventures before returning to the United Kingdom. He had wanted to be a writer since childhood, and living abroad seemed, to him, the perfect fodder for fiction.

But as he slurped udon in Shinjuku that first evening in an unfamiliar city, he couldn’t have predicted that he’d spend his 20s studying Japanese, or that his eventual fiction debut, “The Cat and the City,” would be a vibrant love letter to Tokyo.

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