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A Tale for the Time Being

by

A Tale for the Time Being Cover

ISBN13: 9780143124870
ISBN10: 0143124870
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A brilliant, unforgettable novel from bestselling author Ruth Ozeki — shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

“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.

Review:

“An exquisite novel: funny, tragic, hard-edged and ethereal at once.” David Ulin, Los Angeles Times

Review:

“As contemporary as a Japanese teenagers slang but as ageless as a Zen koan, Ruth Ozeki's new novel combines great storytelling with a probing investigation into the purpose of existence....She plunges us into a tantalizing narration that brandishes mysteries to be solved and ideas to be explored....Ozeki's profound affection for her characters makes A Tale for the Time Being as emotionally engaging as it is intellectually provocative.” The Washington Post

Review:

“A delightful yet sometimes harrowing novel....Many of the elements of Nao's story — schoolgirl bullying, unemployed suicidal ‘salarymen, kamikaze pilots — are among a Western reader's most familiar images of Japan, but in Nao's telling, refracted through Ruth's musings, they become fresh and immediate, occasionally searingly painful. Ozeki takes on big themes...all drawn into the stories of two ‘time beings, Ruth and Nao, whose own fates are inextricably bound.” The New York Times Book Review

Review:

“Sixteen-year-old schoolgirl Nao Yasutani's voice is the heart and soul of this very satisfying book....The contemporary Japanese style and use of magical realism are reminiscent of author Haruki Murakami.” USA Today

Review:

“A terrific novel full of breakthroughs both personal and literary....Ozeki revels in Tokyo teen culture — this goes far beyond Hello Kitty — and explores quantum physics, military applications of computer video games, Internet bullying, and Marcel Proust, all while creating a vulnerable and unique voice for the sixteen-year-old girl at its center....Ozeki has produced a dazzling and humorous work of literary origami....Nao's voice — funny, profane and deep — is stirring and unforgettable as she ponders the meaning of her life.” The Seattle Times

Review:

“Forget the proverbial message in a bottle: This Tale fractures clichés as it affirms the lifesaving power of words....As Ozeki explores the ties between reader and writer, she offers a lesson in redemption that reinforces the pricelessness of the here and now.” Elle

Review:

“Magnificent...brings together a Japanese girls diary and a transplanted American novelist to meditate on everything from bullying to the nature of conscience and the meaning of life....The novel's seamless web of language, metaphor, and meaning cant 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 (starred review)

Review:

“An intriguing, even beautiful narrative remarkable for its unusual but attentively structured plot....We go from one story line to the other, back and forth across the Pacific, but the reader never loses place or interest.” Booklist (starred review)

Review:

“Ozeki's absorbing novel is an extended meditation on writing, time, and people in time....The character's lives are finely drawn, from Ruth's rustic lifestyle to the Yasutani family's straitened existence after moving from Sunnyvale, California, to Tokyo. Nao's winsome voice contrasts with Ruth's intellectual ponderings to make up a lyrical disquisition on writings power to transcend time and place. This tale from Ozeki, a Zen Buddhist priest, is sure to please anyone who values a good story broadened with intellectual vigor.” Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Ruth Ozeki is a novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest. She is the award-winning author of three novels, My Year of Meats, All Over Creation, and A Tale for the Time Being, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Her critically acclaimed independent films, including Halving the Bones, have been screened at Sundance and aired on PBS. She is affiliated with the Brooklyn Zen Center and the Everyday Zen Foundation. She lives in British Columbia and New York City.

Visit www.ruthozeki.com and follow @ozekiland on Twitter.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Mindy L, September 17, 2014 (view all comments by Mindy L)
A Tale for the Time Being was one of those books that I struggled with both picking up and then putting down. The writing and the imagination displayed by Ozeki were stunning. The subjects of bullying, suicide, war, philosophy, conscience and family ties were illuminated by the sharply drawn characters an ocean away and generations apart. Ozeki's astute sense of humor and keen observances of culture were evident throughout. The characters linger in my mind and heart long after finishing the book.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Joel Karpowitz, March 15, 2014 (view all comments by Joel Karpowitz)
It's hard to say what I loved most in A Tale for the Time Being. Naoko's sense of humor? The spot-on descriptions of Japanese culture? The slow reveals of everyday tragedy? The blending of quantum physics and Zen buddhism? The idea of time as a being and a state and a flexible fabric that enfolds us all? Ozeki's voice is enthralling and invigorating, and her characters stayed with me long after I closed the cover. This is the kind of book I want to lend people--not everyone, just the people who will "get it"--to let them into the secrets of the lives of these two women. It all worked. Perhaps in a few years I will embrace my time-being-ness and travel back to read it again. And I never do that.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(9 of 16 readers found this comment helpful)
Ninja Librarian, January 24, 2014 (view all comments by Ninja Librarian)
This is an exciting and strong story about us moving through life... or life moving through us. How we interact with others whom we don't yet know gives us hope for good things to come. The strong sense of Time in timelessness, peppered with humor, physics, philosophical and Buddhist perspectives: held together by a tender and often gentle story makes this an outstanding book. It is certainly a gem to share with others.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(9 of 16 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780143124870
Author:
Ozeki, Ruth
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20131231
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
8.44 x 5.5 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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A Tale for the Time Being Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143124870 Reviews:
"Review" by , “An exquisite novel: funny, tragic, hard-edged and ethereal at once.”
"Review" by , “As contemporary as a Japanese teenagers slang but as ageless as a Zen koan, Ruth Ozeki's new novel combines great storytelling with a probing investigation into the purpose of existence....She plunges us into a tantalizing narration that brandishes mysteries to be solved and ideas to be explored....Ozeki's profound affection for her characters makes A Tale for the Time Being as emotionally engaging as it is intellectually provocative.”
"Review" by , “A delightful yet sometimes harrowing novel....Many of the elements of Nao's story — schoolgirl bullying, unemployed suicidal ‘salarymen, kamikaze pilots — are among a Western reader's most familiar images of Japan, but in Nao's telling, refracted through Ruth's musings, they become fresh and immediate, occasionally searingly painful. Ozeki takes on big themes...all drawn into the stories of two ‘time beings, Ruth and Nao, whose own fates are inextricably bound.”
"Review" by , “Sixteen-year-old schoolgirl Nao Yasutani's voice is the heart and soul of this very satisfying book....The contemporary Japanese style and use of magical realism are reminiscent of author Haruki Murakami.”
"Review" by , “A terrific novel full of breakthroughs both personal and literary....Ozeki revels in Tokyo teen culture — this goes far beyond Hello Kitty — and explores quantum physics, military applications of computer video games, Internet bullying, and Marcel Proust, all while creating a vulnerable and unique voice for the sixteen-year-old girl at its center....Ozeki has produced a dazzling and humorous work of literary origami....Nao's voice — funny, profane and deep — is stirring and unforgettable as she ponders the meaning of her life.”
"Review" by , “Forget the proverbial message in a bottle: This Tale fractures clichés as it affirms the lifesaving power of words....As Ozeki explores the ties between reader and writer, she offers a lesson in redemption that reinforces the pricelessness of the here and now.”
"Review" by , “Magnificent...brings together a Japanese girls diary and a transplanted American novelist to meditate on everything from bullying to the nature of conscience and the meaning of life....The novel's seamless web of language, metaphor, and meaning cant 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.”
"Review" by , “An intriguing, even beautiful narrative remarkable for its unusual but attentively structured plot....We go from one story line to the other, back and forth across the Pacific, but the reader never loses place or interest.”
"Review" by , “Ozeki's absorbing novel is an extended meditation on writing, time, and people in time....The character's lives are finely drawn, from Ruth's rustic lifestyle to the Yasutani family's straitened existence after moving from Sunnyvale, California, to Tokyo. Nao's winsome voice contrasts with Ruth's intellectual ponderings to make up a lyrical disquisition on writings power to transcend time and place. This tale from Ozeki, a Zen Buddhist priest, is sure to please anyone who values a good story broadened with intellectual vigor.”
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