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A Tale for the Time Being

A Tale for the Time Being

Paperback

By (author) Ruth L Ozeki

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  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Format: Paperback | 422 pages
  • Dimensions: 137mm x 213mm x 30mm | 454g
  • Publication date: 31 December 2013
  • ISBN 10: 0143124870
  • ISBN 13: 9780143124870
  • Sales rank: 8,590

Product description

A brilliant, unforgettable novel from bestselling author Ruth Ozeki--shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award ""A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be."" In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there's only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates' bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who's lived more than a century. A diary is Nao's only solace--and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox--possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao's drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future. Full of Ozeki's signature humor and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, "A Tale for the Time Being" is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.

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Author information

Ruth Ozeki is a novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest. She is the award-winning author of three novels, "My Year of Meats," "All Over Creation," and "A Tale for the Time Being," which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her critically acclaimed independent films, including "Halving the Bones," have been screened at Sundance and aired on PBS. She is affiliated with the Brooklyn Zen Center and the Everyday Zen Foundation. She lives in British Columbia and New York City. Visit www.ruthozeki.com and follow @ozekiland on Twitter.

Review quote

Praise for "A Tale for the Time Being" "An exquisite novel: funny, tragic, hard-edged and ethereal at once." --David Ulin, "Los Angeles Times" "As contemporary as a Japanese teenager's slang but as ageless as a Zen koan, Ruth Ozeki's new novel combines great storytelling with a probing investigation into the purpose of existence. . . . She plunges us into a tantalizing narration that brandishes mysteries to be solved and ideas to be explored. . . . Ozeki's profound affection for her characters makes "A Tale for the Time Being "as emotionally engaging as it is intellectually provocative." "--The Washington Post" "A delightful yet sometimes harrowing novel . . . Many of the elements of Nao's story--schoolgirl bullying, unemployed suicidal 'salarymen, ' kamikaze pilots--are among a Western reader's most familiar images of Japan, but in Nao's telling, refracted through Ruth's musings, they become fresh and immediate, occasionally searingly painful. Ozeki takes on big themes . . . all drawn into the stories of two 'time beings, ' Ruth and Nao, whose own fates are inextricably bound." "--The New York Times Book Review" "Sixteen-year-old schoolgirl Nao Yasutani's voice is the heart and soul of this very satisfying book. . . . The contemporary Japanese style and use of magical realism are reminiscent of author Haruki Murakami." "--USA Today" "A terrific novel full of breakthroughs both personal and literary. . . . Ozeki revels in Tokyo teen culture--this goes far beyond Hello Kitty--and explores quantum physics, military applications of computer video games, Internet bullying, and Marcel Proust, all while creating a vulnerable and unique voice for the sixteen-year-old girl at its center. . . . Ozeki has produced a dazzling and humorous work of literary origami. . . . Nao's voice--funny, profane and deep--is stirring and unforgettable as she ponders the meaning of her life." "--The Seattle Times" "Beautifully wr