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A Tale for the Time Being

A Tale for the Time Being

Ruth Ozeki

  • awardWinner, LA Times Book Prize for Fiction, United States, 2013
  • awardWinner, Independent Bookseller Week, Book of the Year, United Kingdom, 2013
  • awardWinner, Medici Book Club Prize, United States, 2014
  • awardWinner, Yasnaya Polyana Literary Award for the Best Foreign Novel, Russian Federation, 2015
  • awardShortlisted, National Book Critics Circle Awards, United States, 2013
  • awardShortlisted, Man Booker Prize, 2013
  • awardShortlisted, American Booksellers Assocation (ABA) Indies Choice Award for Fiction, United States, 2014
  • awardLonglisted, PEN Open Book Award, United States, 2014
  • awardLonglisted, International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, Ireland, 2015
  • Nao lives in Tokyo. She is sixteen, and has decided to write a diary before she kills herself. She has plenty of material—school bullies, depressed parents—but she particularly wants to chronicle the life of her great-grandmother, Jiko, a Buddhist nun. Eventually, Nao thinks, her diary will find its reader.

    Ruth lives with her husband on the Pacific coast of Canada. A few months after the 2010 tsunami, she finds a Hello Kitty lunchbox washed up on the shore. It contains a diary…

    ‘This is the simple story of a girl, her great-grandmother and the novelist who becomes enthralled with their tale. But this simple story draws from the deep currents of our times, from quantum physics, Japanese ghost tales, suicide trends, first-person accounts of kamikaze fighters during World War II, thirteenth-century Buddhist texts and recent pop culture. It is a meditation on impermanence, and the intimate relationship between past and present, fact and fiction, and time and text.’ Ruth Ozeki

    ‘Confessions of a Zen Novelist’ by Ruth Ozeki, Lion’s Roar


    Text Blog, Number 3 Chiller

    The Wheeler Centre
    4ZZZ Book Club


    Washington Post

    Ruth Ozeki launches A Tale for the Time Being at NYU Bookstore

    Ruth launches A Tale for the Time Being at NYU Bookstore

    Ruth Ozeki
    About the Author

    Ruth Ozeki was born and raised in Connecticut by an American father and a Japanese mother. She has lived in Japan, where among other things she worked as a bar hostess and studied flower arrangement, Noh drama and mask carving. Ruth practises Zen Buddhism and was ordained as a priest in 2010. She is the bestselling author of My Year of Meats and...

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    Text publication date:
    30 October 2017
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    Praise for Ruth Ozeki
    andA Tale for the Time Being

    ‘A beautifully interwoven novel about magic and loss and the incomprehensible threads that connect our lives. I loved it.’

    ‘Deep and gorgeous and wise. A completely satisfying, continually surprising, wholly remarkable achievement.’

    ‘Ozeki is one of my favorite novelists and here she is at her absolute best—bewitching, intelligent, hilarious, and heartbreaking, often on the same page.’

    ‘Ruth Ozeki beautifully renders not only the devastation of the collision between man and the natural world, but also its often miraculous results. She is a deeply intelligent and humane writer who offers her insight with a grace that beguiles. I truly love this novel.’

    ‘Ingenious and touching…I read it with great pleasure.’

    ‘Delightful…fresh and immediate.’

    ‘A huge, compassionate and cleverly wrought novel.’

    ‘A masterpiece, pure and simple.’

    ‘Masterfully woven…a spellbinding tale.’

    A Tale for The Time Being is many things: literary thriller, cross-cultural meditation and postmodern game. Ozeki’s subtlety and craft make these into a convincing whole.’

    ‘One of those exquisitely rare books in which you’re still wondering what else it holds until the very last page.’

    A Tale for the Time Being achieves an impressive balancing act: it’s a book that is profound but never earnest.’

    ‘An engaging, bitter-sweet work.’

    ‘Clever on many levels but also immensely readable.’

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