A Tale for the Time Being

Ruth Ozeki

A Tale for the Time Being

Ruth, a novelist living on an island off the coast of British Columbia, discovers a Hello Kitty lunchbox washed up on the shore. It's filled with the remnants of a diary written by Nao, a 16-year-old growing up in Japan. Nao is a lonely girl intent on ending it all -- but not before she writes the biography of her great-grandmother. Part mystery, part meditation, A Tale for the Time Being brings together the lives of these three women, and deals with themes ranging from bullying to Zen Buddhism.

A Tale for the Time Being was shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize.



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.

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. As for me, right now I am sitting in a French maid café in Akiba Electricity Town, listening to a sad chanson that is playing sometime in your past, which is also my present, writing this and wondering about you, somewhere in my future. And if you're reading this, then maybe by now you're wondering about me, too.

From: A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. Copyright © Ozeki, 2013. Reprinted by Permission of Penguin Canada Books Inc.

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