"No one writes like Ruth Ozeki-a triumph." -Matt Haig, New York Times bestselling author of The Midnight Library
"Inventive, vivid, and propelled by a sense of wonder." -TIME
"If you've lost your way with fiction over the last year or two, let The Book of Form and Emptiness light your way home." -David Mitchell, Booker Prize-finalist author of Cloud Atlas
A boy who hears the voices of objects all around him; a mother drowning in her possessions; and a Book that might hold the secret to saving them both-the brilliantly inventive new novel from the Booker Prize-finalist Ruth Ozeki
One year after the death of his beloved musician father, thirteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house-a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn't understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are pleasant, a gentle hum or coo, but others are snide, angry and full of pain. When his mother, Annabelle, develops a hoarding problem, the voices grow more clamorous.
At first, Benny tries to ignore them, but soon the voices follow him outside the house, onto the street and at school, driving him at last to seek refuge in the silence of a large public library, where objects are well-behaved and know to speak in whispers. There, Benny discovers a strange new world. He falls in love with a mesmerizing street artist with a smug pet ferret, who uses the library as her performance space. He meets a homeless philosopher-poet, who encourages him to ask important questions and find his own voice amongst the many.
And he meets his very own Book-a talking thing-who narrates Benny's life and teaches him to listen to the things that truly matter.
With its blend of sympathetic characters, riveting plot, and vibrant engagement with everything from jazz, to climate change, to our attachment to material possessions, The Book of Form and Emptiness is classic Ruth Ozeki-bold, wise, poignant, playful, humane and heartbreaking.
A brilliant, unforgettable novel from bestselling author Ruth Ozeki, author of The Book of Form and Emptiness
Finalist 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.
A warm and witty saga about agribusiness, environmental activism, and community-from the celebrated author of The Book of Form and Emptiness and A Tale for the Time Being
Yumi Fuller hasn't set foot in her hometown of Liberty Falls, Idaho-heart of the potato-farming industry-since she ran away at age fifteen. Twenty-five years later, the prodigal daughter returns to confront her dying parents, her best friend, and her conflicted past, and finds herself caught up in an altogether new drama. The post-millennial farming community has been invaded by Agribusiness forces at war with a posse of activists, the Seeds of Resistance, who travel the country in a camping car, "The Spudnick," biofueled by pilfered McDonald's french-fry oil. Following her widely hailed, award-winning debut novel, My Year of Meats, Ruth Ozeki returns here to deliver a quirky cast of characters and a wickedly humorous appreciation of the foibles of corporate life, globalization, political resistance, youth culture, and aging baby boomers. All Over Creation tells a celebratory tale of the beauty of seeds, roots, and growth-and the capacity for renewal that resides within us all.
Yamada answered "no" twice in a compulsory government questionnaire as to whether he would serve in the armed forces and swear loyalty to the United States. This book tells the story of Ichiro Yamada, a fictional version of the real-life "no-no boys."
The author discovers a Hello Kitty lunchbox washed up on the shore of her beach home. Within it lies a diary that expresses the hopes and dreams of a young girl. She suspects it might have arrived on a drift of debris from the 2011 tsunami. With every turn of the page, she is sucked deeper into an enchanting mystery.
A cross-cultural tale of two women brought together by the intersections of television and industrial agriculture, fertility and motherhood, life and love, from the Booker-shortlisted author