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A Tale for the Time Being : Man Booker Longlist - Ruth Ozeki

A Tale for the Time Being

Man Booker Longlist

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  • Paperback View Product Published: 30th October 2017

Winner, Independent Bookseller Week, Book of the Year, United Kingdom, 2013 Shortlisted, Man Booker Prize, 2013

Nao lives in Tokyo. She is sixteen, and has decided to write a diary before she kills herself. Eventually, she thinks, it 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

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 Meat and All Over Creation.


Like to read an extraordinary book


My Reading Circle group were enthralled by this book.

Blackburn, Vic, AU


A Tale for the Time Being

5.0 1


`A huge, compassionate and cleverly wrought novel.' * Times Literary Supplement * `We as readers undergo a discovery process just as the fictional Ruth does. It is rare to read such a complete book.' * Asian Review of Books * `delightful yet sometimes harrowing', `rang[ing] widely, drawing in everything from quantum mechanics and the theory of infinite possibilities in an infinite number of universes to the teachings of the 13th-century Zen master Dogen Zenji.' * New York Times * 'The novel's seamless web of language, metaphor and meaning can't be disentangled from its powerful emotional impact: These are characters we care for deeply, imparting vital life lessons through the magic of storytelling. A masterpiece, pure and simple.' * Kirkus Reviews * 'A novel that is clever on many levels but also immensely readable.' * Herald on Sunday NZ * 'An engaging, bitter-sweet work.' * NZ Weekend Herald * 'A Tale for the Time Being achieves an impressive balancing act: it's a book that is profound but never earnest.' * Weekend Australian * 'One of those exquisitely rare books in which you're still wondering what else it holds until the very last page...[Ozeki's] maximalist style puts her in the realms of David Foster Wallace or early David Mitchell but, unlike almost any other postmodern author for whom concepts frequently trump character, Ozeki can pluck at the heart strings like a samisen, offering moments that bring hand to mouth on both horror and joy.' * Sun Herald/Sunday Age * 'A Tale for the Time Being is equal parts mystery and meditation. The mystery is a compulsive, gritty page-turner. The meditation-on time and memory, on the oceanic movement of history, on impermanence and uncertainty, but also resilience and bravery-is deep and gorgeous and wise. A completely satisfying, continually surprising, wholly remarkable achievement, this is a book to be read and reread.' -- Karen Joy Fowler, NYT bestselling author of THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB 'Ingenious and touching, A Tale for the Time Being is also highly readable. And interesting: the contrast of cultures is especially well done. I greatly look forward to Ruth Ozeki's next book.' * Philip Pullman * `A Tale for the Time Being is an extraordinary novel about a courageous young woman, riven by loneliness, by Time and (ultimately) by Tsunami. Nao is an inspired narrator and her quest to tell her great grandmother's story, to connect with her past, with the world is both aching and true. 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...A Tale for the Time Being is one of those novels that will renew your faith in literature.' -- Junot Diaz `A Tale for the Time Being is a timeless story. Ruth Ozeki beautifully renders not only the devastation of the collision between man and the natural world, but also the often miraculous results of it. She is a deeply intelligent and humane writer who offers her insight with a grace that beguiles. I truly love this novel.' -- Alice Sebold

You probably don't think that nuns are all that fascinating, but my great-grandmother is, and not in a kinky way at all. I am sure there are lots of kinky nuns out there...well, maybe not so many kinky nuns, but kinky priests, for sure, everybody knows about priests...but my diary will not concern itself with them or their oddbody behaviours.

This diary will tell the real-life story of my great-grandmother, Yasutani Jiko. She was a nun, a novelist, and New Woman of the Taisho Era. She was also an anarchist feminist who had plenty of lovers, both males and females, but she was never kinky or nasty. And even though I may end up mentioning some of her love affairs, everything I write will be historically true and empowering to women, and not a lot of foolish geisha crap.

ISBN: 9781922079183
ISBN-10: 1922079189
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 528
Published: 7th March 2013
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.4  x 3.1
Weight (kg): 0.56