A Tale for the Time Being: A Novel

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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.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Mar 12, 2013
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Pages
432
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ISBN
9781101606254
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Asian American
Fiction / Contemporary Women
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In Time Code of a Face, bestselling author Ruth Ozeki recounts, in moment-to-moment detail, a profound encounter with memory and the mirror. The author challenges herself to spend three hours staring into her own reflection, recording her thoughts, and noticing every possible detail. Those solitary hours open up a lifetime's worth of meditations on race, age, family, death, the body, self doubt and, finally, acceptance. In a lyrical essay suffused with her Zen Buddhist practice and thoroughly unlike anything in the author's celebrated novels, Ozeki shows us just how rich and intimate the terrain of one's own face can be.

Praise for Ruth Ozeki
“Ozeki is one of my favorite novelists....bewitching, intelligent, hilarious, and heartbreaking, often on the same page.”
—Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of This Is How You Lose Her

“Ozeki joins the constellation of such environmentally aware writers as Barbara Kingsolver, Annie Proulx, and Margaret Atwood.”
—Chicago Tribune

“A careful, considerate writer.”
—Booklist

Ruth Ozeki is a novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest. Her first two novels, My Year of Meats (1998) and All Over Creation (2003), have been translated into eleven languages and published in fourteen countries. Her most recent work, 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.
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