Tale for the Time Being, a

author: 
Ozeki, Ruth

There's a lot to love, literarily, in Ruth Ozeki's metafictive split narrative novel, but it's not the fastest read. I was completely engaged in the parts of the book that are the diary of a bullied, out-of-place Japanese teenager, but found the second person story about the characters Ruth and Oliver (the author and her husband's real names) and their cat Schrödinger (not their cat's real name) less compelling. I didn't dislike it, but it was a struggle, like Ruth's life.

I've been struggling, too, so I was psyched to read an author whose work I've enjoyed in the past and who now, as a Buddhist priest, might offer some additional comfort and wisdom. The story of the diarist's feminist anarchist Buddhist nun grandmother provide that comfort and wisdom, but I was a little distracted by the cleverness of the novel, and not a huge fan of the 162 footnotes and five appendices.

Torie, I want to know what you think of the book!

Note to self: look up Kanno Sugako ("famous anarchist chick...first woman ever to be hanged for treason in Japan").

reviewdate: 
Mar 30 2013
isn: 
978-0-670-02663-0