Another Insane Devotion

On the Love of Cats and Persons


By Peter Trachtenberg

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$28.99 CAD



  1. Trade Paperback $21.99 $28.99 CAD
  2. ebook $9.99 $12.99 CAD

From “a genuine American Dostoevsky” (The Washington Post): a dazzling, funny, bittersweet exploration of the mysteries of relationship, both human and animal.

When his favorite cat Biscuit goes missing, Peter Trachtenberg sets out to find her. The journey takes him 700 miles and many years into his past– into the history of his relationships with cats and the history of his relationship with his wife F., who may herself be on the verge of disappearing. What ensues is a work that recalls travel narratives from The Incredible Journey to W. G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn. Trachtenberg ponders the mysteries of feline intelligence (why do cats score worse on some tests than pigeons?), the origins of their domestication, their terrible treatment during the Middle Ages. He also looks at the riddle of why any of us loves whom we love and all the unforeseen places to which that devotion leads us.


  • Another Insane Devotion—about love, sex, marriage and especially cats—is a hallmark of brainy discursiveness.”

    Booklist, 11/15/12

    “[A] meditation on the meaning(s) of love…Trachtenberg's lyric writing keeps the reader interested…making for a memoir that reads like a compelling work of fiction.”

    Chronogram, November 2012
    “Spiked with intellectual digressions and unlikely graphics, Trachtenberg's eccentric meditation on loss and transition is not your everyday cat book…[He] uses language as a flensing tool, peeling back layers to glimpse deeper truths.”

    Chicago Tribune, 12/2/12

    “This is surely the best book written about what it means to love cats, and to wonder if they love you, since Carl Van Vechten's The Tiger in the House."

    Hudson Valley News, 11/14/12

    “The season's most eccentric book…You'll have many smiles and a few tears while reading…The story of…the fierce and tender bonds of love between people and between people and cats…The book, in all its richness and humor,…tells us about loving a cat, loving a human being and where those loves can take us.”, 11/29/12

  • Eileen Myles, author of Cool for You and Inferno

    “This is Peter's best book and if you don't know what that means just imagine your sweetest, most perverse storytelling friend asks to meet because he has a confession to make. When you arrive he informs you that he loves his cat more than life itself, or exactly that much and then he opens his shirt and shows you the cat tattoo and then he begins to tell you of his love and in a puff hours vanish and it's absolutely riveting.” 

    Nick Flynn, author of  Another Bullshit Night in Suck City

    “I am not a cat person—I approach each one on a cat-by-cat basis—yet Peter Trachtenberg is such a wonderful writer, and this book is so damn good, that I found myself carried along by its lucidity, its generosity, its deep wisdom. In the end, of course, Another Insane Devotion is about much more than cats.”

    Publishers Weekly, 9/10/12
    “Through short sections of intelligent, often humorous prose, former and potential girlfriends and past pets are conjured in hopes of understanding how people can fall in and out of love…Trachtenberg's journey proves entertaining and enlightening.”

    T: The New York Times Style Magazine, 10/7/12

On Sale
Oct 8, 2013
Page Count
304 pages
Da Capo Press

Peter Trachtenberg

About the Author

Peter Trachtenberg is the author of The Book of Calamities and 7 Tattoos: A Memoir in the Flesh. He is the recipient of Whiting Writers Award, a Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, a fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Nelson Algren Award for Short Fiction, and a Bellagio Residency. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

Learn more about this author