Equal parts mystery and mediation. A compulsive and gritty page-turner on time and memory, history and uncertainty, resilience and bravery. Deeply satisfying, continually surprising, gorgeous and wise. This book is to be read and reread.
From Tokyo’s Electric Town to Desolation Sound, British Columbia, and connected by the great Pacific gyres, A Tale for the Time Being tells the story of a diary washed ashore, and the profound effect it has on the woman who discovers it. Sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there is only one escape from her loneliness and classmates’ bullying. But first, Nao 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 it will touch lives in ways she can barely imagine.
Across the Pacific, a novelist, Ruth, who is living on a remote island discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore from the devastating tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama, and into her unknown fate. Then, forward into her own future. Discover an earthquake-causing catfish, a 104 year-old Buddhist Nun, French maid cafes in a manga-fied world, cyberbullying, natural disasters, Zen philosophy, the infinite possibilities of time, and an uplifting story of love, loss, and wisdoms old and new.
Ruth Ozeki was born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut, by an American father and a Japanese mother. She studied English and Asian Studies at Smith College and traveled extensively in Asia. During her years in Japan, she founded a language school and taught in the English Department at Kyoto Sangyo University.
Ruth returned to New York in 1985 and began a film career. She switched to television production, and after several years directing documentary-style programs for a Japanese company, she started making her own films. Ozeki’s films are now in educational distribution and shown at universities, museums and arts venues around the world.
Ozeki is a frequent speaker on college and university campuses. She divides her time between New York City and British Columbia. She serves on the advisory editorial board of the Asian American Literary Review and on the Creative Advisory Council of Hedgebrook. She practices Zen Buddhism, and was ordained as a Soto Zen priest in June, 2010.