A Tale for the Time Being

Ruth Ozeki

Do you know what a time being is? Well, if you give me a moment, I will tell you. 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
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Hardback ISBN 9780857867964) book cover

Available as Hardback, Paperback, eBook, Downloadable audio

‘Bewitching, intelligent and heartbreaking’ Junot Díaz

Stunning Limited Edition hardback with hand-crafted Nepalese binding and beautifully designed full-colour endpapers

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013

‘Hi! My name is Nao, and I am a time being. Do you know what a time being is? Well, if you give me a moment, I will tell you.’

Ruth 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.

In a small cafe in Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao Yasutani is navigating the challenges thrown up by modern life. In the face of cyberbullying, the mysteries of a 104-year-old Buddhist nun and great-grandmother, and the joy and heartbreak of family, Nao is trying to find her own place - and voice - through a diary she hopes will find a reader and friend who finally understands her.

Weaving across continents and decades, and exploring the relationship between reader and writer, fact and fiction, A Tale for the Time Being is an extraordinary novel about our shared humanity and the search for home.


“Bewitching, intelligent and heartbreaking … Nao is an inspired narrator and her quest to tell her great grandmother’s story, to connect with her past and with the larger world, is both aching and true. Ozeki is one of my favorite novelists and here she is at her absolute best”
Junot Díaz

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A Tale for the Time Being is a timeless story. Ruth Ozeki beautifully renders not only the devastation of the collision between man and the natural world, but also the often miraculous results of it. She is a deeply intelligent and humane writer who offers her insights with a grace that beguiles. I truly love this novel”
Alice Sebold

“This is one of the most deeply moving and thought-provoking novels I have read in a long time. In precise and luminous prose, Ozeki captures both the sweep and detail of our shared humanity, moving seamlessly between Nao’s story and our own”
Madeline Miller
author Of The Song Of Achilles

“Ingenious and touching, A Tale for the Time Being is also highly readable. And interesting: the contrast of cultures is especially well done”
Philip Pullman

“A beautifully interwoven novel about magic and loss and the incomprehensible threads that connect our lives. I just finished it, and loved it”
Elizabeth Gilbert
author Of Eat, Pray, Love


Ruth Ozeki

Ruth Ozeki is an award-winning novelist and filmmaker. Her third novel, A Tale for the Time Being won the 2013 Independent Booksellers Book Award and the Kitchies Red Tentacle Award, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013 and the National Book Critics Award for Fiction. She is also the author of My Year of Meats and All Over Creation. Ozeki was born and raised in Connecticut, by an American father and Japanese mother. In June 2010 she was ordained as a Zen Buddhist priest. She divides her time between British Columbia and New York.

Follow @ozekiland on Twitter | www.ruthozeki.com


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