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1 Burnside Cooking and Food- Food Writing

My Year of Meats

by

My Year of Meats Cover

ISBN13: 9780140280463
ISBN10: 0140280464
Condition: Standard
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Awards

Winner of the Imus American Book Award and the Kiriyama Book Prize.

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Veteran filmmaker Ruth Ozeki's novel has been hailed as "one of the heartiest and yes, meatiest debuts in years" (Glamour). It tells the story of a year in the lives of two ordinary women on opposite ends of the earth, brought together by a convergence of extraordinary circumstances. Jane, a struggling filmmaker in New York, is given her big break — a chance to travel through the U.S. to produce a Japanese television program sponsored by an American meat exporting business. But along the way, she discovers some unsavory truths about love, honor, and a particularly damaging hormone called DES that wreaks havoc with her uterus. Meanwhile, Akiko, a painfully thin Japanese woman struggling with bulimia, is being pressured by her child-craving husband to put some meat on her bones — literally. How Jane's and Akiko's lives intersect taps into some of the deepest concerns of our time — how the past informs the present and how we live and love in an ever-shrinking world.

Review:

"A sexy and funny cross-cultural tale of two seemingly disparate women that is a feast that leaves you hungry for whatever Ozeki cooks up next." Newsweek

Review:

"It's juicy, it's tender, it's bloody, it's sizzling." St. Louis Post Dispatch

Review:

"There is an ardent passion to the center of this novel...rare and provocative." USA Today

Review:

"...a novel as juicy as a good burger." Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"Robust, funny and insistently educational in tone, My Year of Meats deals with the cross-pollination of people and values, toxicity in meat, synthetic estrogens, camera angles and the ever-pertinent issue of perspective and reliability in the media. The only problem is that Ozeki's novel sometimes feels as much like a Lifetime movie as a complex, hard-hitting exposé." Salon

Synopsis:

A cross-cultural tale of two women brought together by the intersections of television and industrial agriculture, fertility and motherhood, life and love—the breakout hit by the celebrated author of A Tale for the Time Being

Ruth Ozekis mesmerizing debut novel has captivated readers and reviewers worldwide. When documentarian Jane Takagi-Little finally lands a job producing a Japanese television show that just happens to be sponsored by an American meat-exporting business, she uncovers some unsavory truths about love, fertility, and a dangerous hormone called DES. Soon she will also cross paths with Akiko Ueno, a beleaguered Japanese housewife struggling to escape her overbearing husband. Hailed by USA Today as “rare and provocative” and awarded the Kirayama Prize for Literature of the Pacific Rim, My Year of Meats is a modern-day take on Upton Sinclairs The Jungle for fans of Michael Pollan, Margaret Atwood, and Barbara Kingsolver.

 

Synopsis:

A brilliant, unforgettable, and long-awaited novel from bestselling author Ruth Ozeki

“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.  

About the Author

Ruth L. Ozeki has worked in television and film for the last twelve years. Her documentary and dramatic films have been shown on PBS, at the Sundance Film Festival, and at colleges and universities across the country, and she has received numerous grants and awards for her work. She divides her time between New York City and British Columbia.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Shoshana, February 24, 2008 (view all comments by Shoshana)
It's a little hard to know whether this is an excellent novel with horrific content, or an excellent novel that becomes somewhat disappointing over the course of the story. I tend toward the former interpretation, but some reviewers seem to agree with the latter. Specifically, the novel veers toward pedantic nonfiction documentary toward the end; since the protagonist is making a documentary, this does not trouble me. I'm a little more concerned by the sometimes heavy-handed parallelism between documentarian Jane and important secondary character Akiko. They begin more as foils, but end in some ways as reflections. I'd have liked to see more divergence between them by the end. It's stated, but not adequately conveyed.

Both the novel and negative reviews of the novel evoke comparisons to Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer and Smiley's Moo (indeed, the included reader's guide quotes Smiley's comments about the book). The novel itself involves women finding their place and power, and learning to articulate their beliefs and values, and act on them, with reasonable confidence. Like Moo, the story begins innocently and somewhat farcically, then moves gradually toward more serious revelations with bigger consequences and higher stakes. As in Prodigal Summer, the characters must wrestle with their growing awareness that, hopeless as it may seem, they must act in accord with the dictates of conscience in order not to stand by passively when damage is being done.

All three novels have a reasonably strong anti-chemical agricultural message. All have evoked angry reviews that state that the author (and protagonist) is some sort of unreasonable smug feminist who thinks women (and in this case, also lesbians) and nature are great and that men and American culture are bad--the twist in reviews of My Year of Meats is the charge that Ozeki valorizes white Americans and denigrates Japan. Sorry, I don't see it the way these readers see it. Positive depictions of lesbians and negative depictions of American agricultural practices do not trouble me overmuch. In fact, I see positive and negative depictions of both males and females in all of these novels, and I'm not sure what has some reviewers so up in arms. If I were to count up all the books I've read in which women are shrill and useless and American men save the day, I'd have to say they far outnumber the novels that depict the opposite. Each of these stories doesn't quite trust that the reader will put the pieces together, and so is unnecessarily emphatic and unsubtle. I can live with that.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780140280463
Author:
Ozeki, Ruth L.
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Author:
Ozeki, Ruth
Author:
zeki, Ruth
Author:
o
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Japan
Subject:
Television programs
Subject:
Asian americans
Subject:
Cookery (meat)
Subject:
Housewives
Subject:
Infertility, female
Subject:
Meat industry and trade
Subject:
Women television producers and directors
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Housewives - Tokyo
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
no. 235
Publication Date:
19990331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

» Cooking and Food » Food Writing » General
» Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
» History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

My Year of Meats Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Penguin Books - English 9780140280463 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A sexy and funny cross-cultural tale of two seemingly disparate women that is a feast that leaves you hungry for whatever Ozeki cooks up next."
"Review" by , "It's juicy, it's tender, it's bloody, it's sizzling."
"Review" by , "There is an ardent passion to the center of this novel...rare and provocative."
"Review" by , "...a novel as juicy as a good burger."
"Review" by , "Robust, funny and insistently educational in tone, My Year of Meats deals with the cross-pollination of people and values, toxicity in meat, synthetic estrogens, camera angles and the ever-pertinent issue of perspective and reliability in the media. The only problem is that Ozeki's novel sometimes feels as much like a Lifetime movie as a complex, hard-hitting exposé."
"Synopsis" by ,
A cross-cultural tale of two women brought together by the intersections of television and industrial agriculture, fertility and motherhood, life and love—the breakout hit by the celebrated author of A Tale for the Time Being

Ruth Ozekis mesmerizing debut novel has captivated readers and reviewers worldwide. When documentarian Jane Takagi-Little finally lands a job producing a Japanese television show that just happens to be sponsored by an American meat-exporting business, she uncovers some unsavory truths about love, fertility, and a dangerous hormone called DES. Soon she will also cross paths with Akiko Ueno, a beleaguered Japanese housewife struggling to escape her overbearing husband. Hailed by USA Today as “rare and provocative” and awarded the Kirayama Prize for Literature of the Pacific Rim, My Year of Meats is a modern-day take on Upton Sinclairs The Jungle for fans of Michael Pollan, Margaret Atwood, and Barbara Kingsolver.

 

"Synopsis" by ,
A brilliant, unforgettable, and long-awaited novel from bestselling author Ruth Ozeki

“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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