In Hiromi Kawakami’s world, humans are the odd ones out.

In her newly published short story collection “Dragon Palace,” translated into English by Ted Goossen, Kawakami returns to one of her cherished conceits, a world of fluid transfiguration; people come and go as animals, and vice versa. The prolific Japanese writer has been working since the 1990s and is best known in English for her novel “Strange Weather in Tokyo.”