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A Tale for the Time Being

A Tale for the Time Being

Hardback ALA Notable Books for Adults

By (author) Ruth L Ozeki

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  • Publisher: Viking Books
  • Format: Hardback | 422 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 231mm x 41mm | 680g
  • Publication date: 3 December 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0670026638
  • ISBN 13: 9780670026630
  • Sales rank: 87,764

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" "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" "Masterfully woven . . . Entwining Japanese language with WWII history, pop culture with Proust, Zen with quantum mechanics, Ozeki alternates between the voices of two women to produce a spellbinding tale." "--O, The Oprah Magazine" "Forget the proverbial message in a bottle: This "Tale" fractures cliches as it affirms the lifesaving power of words. . . . As Ozeki explores the ties between reader and writer, she offers a lesson in redemption that reinforces the pricelessness of the here and now." "--Elle" "A powerful yarn of fate and parallel lives." "--Good Housekeeping" "Ozeki weaves together Nao's adolescent yearnings with Ruth's contemplative digressions, adding bits of Zen wisdom, as well as questions about agency, creativity, life, death, and human connections along the way. "A Tale for the Time Being "is a dreamy, spiritual investigation of how to gracefully meet the waves of time, which, in the end, come for us all." "--The Daily Beast" "As we read Nao's story and the story of Ozeki's reading of it, as we go back and forth between the text and the notes, time expands for us. It opens up onto something resembling narrative eternity . . . page after page, slowly unfolding. And what a beautiful effect that is for a novel to create." --Alan Cheuse, NPR's "All Things Considered" "Superb . . . her best and most adventurous novel to date . . . likely to leave readers feeling its emotion