The Housekeeper and the Professor
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The Housekeeper and the Professor

3.94 (18,052 ratings on Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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Description

He is a brilliant maths professor with a peculiar problem - ever since a traumatic head injury seventeen years ago, he has lived with only eighty minutes of short-term memory. She is a sensitive but astute young housekeeper who is entrusted to take care of him. Each morning, as the Professor and the Housekeeper are reintroduced to one another, a strange, beautiful relationship blossoms between them. The Professor may not remember what he had for breakfast, but his mind is still alive with elegant equations from the past. He devises clever maths riddles - based on her shoe size or her birthday - and the numbers reveal a sheltering and poetic world to both the Housekeeper and her ten-year-old son. With each new equation, the three lost souls forge an affection more mysterious than imaginary numbers, and a bond that runs deeper than memory.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 128 x 194 x 18mm | 158.76g
  • Vintage Publishing
  • VINTAGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0099521342
  • 9780099521341
  • 16,733

Review quote

"Highly original. Infinitely charming. And ever so touching." Paul Auster "A perfectly sustained novel (a tribute to Stephen Snyder's smooth translation); like a note prolonged...a pause enabling us to peer intently into the lives of its characters...has all the charm and restraint of any by Ishiguro and the whimsy of Murakami" Los Angeles Times "Beautiful...the extraordinary Yoko Ogawa casts her spell. Never before has the beauty of maths been so lovingly explored...a tender, gentle book...Ogawa is an original and establishes a world in a paragraph..This is a tale which will leave the reader gasping...Hopefully more of her exciting, thoughtful fiction is heading our way." Irish Times "Its unnamed characters suggest archetype or myth; its rapturous concentration on the details of weather and cooking provide a satisfyingly textured foundation" Guardian "Alive with mysteries both mathematical and personal, this novel has the pared-down elegance of an equation" Oprah magazineshow more

About Yoko Ogawa

Since 1988, Yoko Ogawa has written more than 20 works of fiction and non-fiction, and has won every major Japanese literary award. Her fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, A Public Space, and Zoetrope.show more

Review Text

"Its unnamed characters suggest archetype or myth; its rapturous concentration on the details of weather and cooking provide a satisfyingly textured foundation"show more

Back cover copy

Beautiful, brilliant and profoundly strange - discover Yoko Ogawa. He is a brilliant maths professor who lives with only eighty minutes of short-term memory. She is a sensitive and astute young housekeeper who is entrusted to take care of him. Each morning, as the Professor and the Housekeeper are reintroduced to one another, a strange, beautiful relationship blossoms between them. The Professor may not remember what he had for breakfast, but his mind is still alive with elegant equations from the past. He devises clever maths riddles - based on her shoe size or her birthday - and the numbers reveal a sheltering and poetic world to both the Housekeeper and her ten-year-old son. With each new equation, the three lost souls forge an affection more mysterious than imaginary numbers, and a bond that runs deeper than memory. 'Has all the charm and restraint of any novel by Ishiguro and the whimsy of Murakami' Los Angeles Times 'Beautiful...the extraordinary Yoko Ogawa casts her spell... This a tale which will leave the reader gasping' Irish Times 'A poignant domestic drama of tender atmospherics and stealthy education...rapturous' Guardian 'Written in such lucid, unpretentious language that reading it is like looking into a deep pool of clear water... Dive into Yoko Ogawa's world and you find yourself tugged by forces more felt than seen' New York Timesshow more
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