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Publisher Description

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.

Fiction & Literature
March 12
Penguin Publishing Group

Customer Reviews

Pecan boy ,

An unusual read

This creative novel is most thought provoking.
There are likely other worlds on how to be in time or outside time. The narrative engages the reader throughout the narrative. Strongly recommended. Charles

SYC Row ,

A Tale for the Time Being

Ruth Ozeki has written an intriguing interplay and clashing of the Japanese spiritual/cultural world with the physical realities of living 'now' with an American understanding of life and with the interconnectedness of questioning physics theories as applicable to daily living experiences.

4488662 ,


Not for the faint of heart. A highly taxing meandering and claustrophobic story. It's like staring at a moment in time that is stuck and goes no where. If u have such moments to waste on words that never end then it's for U. One of the most uncompelling books I've read in while. So much talented energy for nothing.
Maybe that's the Zen of it all

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