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1 Beaverton DISP- 121/IN AISLE

A Tale for the Time Being


A Tale for the Time Being Cover

ISBN13: 9780670026630
ISBN10: 0670026638
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $12.50!



Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.


"A smart and compelling novel about a world we don't realize we live in." Michael Pollan


“Buzzes and blooms with the cross-pollination of races and subcultures, death and birth, betrayal and reconciliation, comedy and tragedy.” Los Angeles Times Book Review


“Hooray — Ozeki rides again.” Barbara Kingsolver


“A sophisticated novel in which dread and hope coexist.” The New York Times

About the Author

Ruth Ozeki, author of My Year of Meats and All Over Creation, is an award-winning writer and filmmaker. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Shambhala Sun, and More, among other publications. In June 2010 she was ordained as a Zen Buddhist priest and is affiliated with the Brooklyn Zen Center and the Everyday Zen Foundation. She lives in British Columbia and New York City.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

PDX7990, October 21, 2014 (view all comments by PDX7990)
Wonderful book. I could hardly put it down! Can't wait to read more of Ruth Ozeki's work.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Melinda Ott, December 16, 2013 (view all comments by Melinda Ott)
I contemplated not even reviewing this book--but since I've been telling everyone I know to read, I thought should at least attempt to put my thoughts about A Tale for the Time Being into writing.

There is so much going on this novel that it is deserving of a dissertation, not a review. We have Nao, the troubled teenager who grew up in the Bay Area and now finds herself a stranger in homeland of Japan. As if being a teenager was not hard enough, Nao is dealing with her father's mental instability at home and truly horrendous bullying at school.

Somehow, Nao's diary and a seemingly unrelated artifacts are very carefully wrapped up in a cocoon of plastic bags and a Hello Kitty lunch box wash up on a British Columbia beach and a writer, Ruth find them. Now, I don't know how autobiographical this is--but the character is Ruth and the author of this book is Ruth. They both live in British Columbia. They both had American fathers and Japanese mothers. They both have husbands named Oliver. I really don't know if a reader can take it any farther than that, but I found it strangely effective to think that the Ruth in the book is, in fact, Ruth Ozeki.

Ruth is pulled in by Nao's diary--and who wouldn't be? Nao is one of the best written teenage characters I've found in adult literature. The book alternates between Nao and Ruth and it sounds like that could be jarring, but it really isn't. I think the pacing of these transitions is especially effective in this book. It helped the reader to be grounded in two worlds--Nao's world of an indeterminate time period (present day, but how present?) and Ruth's more concrete world.

In this contrast, there is something that Ruth Ozeki has done that no other author I've read so far can match. When telling a story from multiple points of view, there is always something that sounds like the author in both voices. Not here. Nao's voice is so utterly distinct that I wonder if Ozeki really did find something when she was beach combing.

I had read great things about this book, and I expected to like it. I did not, however, expect to love it and to be as affected by it as I am. Do yourself a this book.
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(7 of 11 readers found this comment helpful)
Jim Hiller, March 25, 2013 (view all comments by Jim Hiller)
I discovered this incredibly engaging book on a table in Powell's last week. Once I started reading it, it had me from the very beginning and wouldn't let go.

Ruth discovers a package on the beach, assuming rightly or wrongly that it is debris from the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Upon opening it, she discovers a diary, kept by a Japanese girl named Nao, among other items, and begins to read. Nao's story is both heart rendering and heart breaking; as Ruth is pulled in, so are we. Nao deals with a suicidal father, a distant mother, and a school life that is so horrendous that it cannot be real. In fact, you begin to ask, what is real, as Ozeki fuses some delightful supernatural elements into the story just at a time when they are needed.

Ruth Ozeki plays with reality in so many unique ways that explaining them would give away too much. Suffice it to say that you will fall in love with Jiko, Nao's 104 year old great-grandmother and Buddhist nun with whom Nao stays during a summer break, giving much light, air, and philosophy, to this tale. I won't forget this book, nor can I wait until I revisit it again in the future.
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(8 of 13 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

Ozeki, Ruth
Viking Books
Ozeki, Ruth L.
General Fiction
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
9 x 6 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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A Tale for the Time Being Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$12.50 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Viking Books - English 9780670026630 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A smart and compelling novel about a world we don't realize we live in."
"Review" by , “Buzzes and blooms with the cross-pollination of races and subcultures, death and birth, betrayal and reconciliation, comedy and tragedy.”
"Review" by , “Hooray — Ozeki rides again.”
"Review" by , “A sophisticated novel in which dread and hope coexist.”
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