A TALE FOR THE TIME BEING by Ruth Ozeki
This award-winning novel from writer, Zen Buddhist priest and Smith College professor Ruth Ozeki pulls the reader into two engrossing and interwoven storylines. The Globe & Mail writes, “Ozeki manages to turn existential conundrums into a playful, joyful and pleasantly mind-bending dialogue between reader and writer.”
FROM THE PUBLISHER
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.
PRAISE FOR A TALE FOR THE TIME BEING
“a masterpiece, pure and simple” – Kirkus Reviews
“Saturated with love, ideas and compassion. It is, in short, an absolute treat.” – The Sunday Times (UK)
Like a wise but playful teacher, [Ozeki] guides us through her latest novel by periodically questioning what we know of the story and how we know it…This book pays its deepest homage to Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, but it also shares much in common with the books of Kurt Vonnegut and Robert Anton Wilson. Like them, Ozeki manages to turn existential conundrums into a playful, joyful and pleasantly mind-bending dialogue between reader and writer. – Globe and Mail
In clever and deeply affecting ways, Ruth Ozeki’s luminous new novel explores notions of duality, causation, honour, and time. – Quill & Quire
“Ozeki has great fun in this novel…Fiction and non-fiction blend and dissolve, creating an intriguing, fluid form of storytelling.” – Chatelaine
“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 insights with a grace that beguiles. I truly love this novel.” – Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bones
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ruth Ozeki is a novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest. Her most recent novel, A Tale for the Time-Being (2013), won the LA Times Book Prize, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critic’s Circle Award, and has been published in over thirty countries. Ruth’s documentary and dramatic independent films, including Halving the Bones, have been shown on PBS, at the Sundance Film Festival, and at colleges and universities across the country. A longtime Buddhist practitioner, Ruth was ordained in 2010 and is affiliated with the Brooklyn Zen Center and the Everyday Zen Foundation. She lives in British Columbia and New York City, and is currently the Elizabeth Drew Professor of Creative Writing at Smith College.