Review of Inside and Other Short Fiction by various, edited by Cathy Lyne
The tagline on the cover of this provocative anthology pretty much sums it up in a nutshell: “Japanese women by Japanese women.” Featuring eight short stories and a foreword by novelist Ruth Ozeki, “Inside and Other Short Fiction” is a gritty introduction to contemporary writers who explore the issue of female identity. Read more
Authors, editors, publishers and translators gather with book fans this week to celebrate the second Tokyo International Literary Festival, which features 10 days of readings and workshops alongside more than two dozen events at venues ranging from coffee shops to embassies.
Participants who attended the inaugural event last year waxed lyrical about its ability to bring people with a common interest together to discuss current trends in the industry. “I think the interaction at the event has the potential to take root and influence Japanese literature,” Akutagawa Prize-winner Mieko Kawakami told The Nippon Foundation. Read more
The maelstrom of Man Booker attention is only now starting to quieten down, but Ruth Ozeki tells The Japan Times it was “a thrilling experience.” Various events and readings with the six shortlisted authors culminated in a banquet held last month at London’s Guildhall. “It was high literary theater, a spectacle,” she says. “I came away feeling so happy to have met the other finalists, admiring them and their works. The whole banquet itself was rather amazing.” Typically, Ozeki thinks every book should have won. “I really felt reading those books that each book was the best book. It’s my orientation too, that I find it really difficult to choose just one thing.”
More than four years after she wrote the first paragraph in late 2006, Ruth Ozeki was preparing to submit the manuscript for what would be her third novel. The story had two protagonists: a Japanese girl who was keeping a diary, and a stranger who was reading it.
Then in March, 2011, a devastating earthquake and resulting tsunami hit Japan. Read more
Catriona Luke chooses a Booker winner for those who really prefer twitter
Ruth Ozeki’s vibrant opening and the promise that it is a book that moves happily and zingily between past and present, future and past, has the effect of lighting me up. It happened that I caught up with it after browsing twitter and finding a You Tube link to Kate Bush singing ‘Rocket Man’.
Ozeki’s book is billed as ‘life-enhancing’. That’s good enough for me. With its concentration on literary prose, searches for identity, unbearable lightnesses of being for four decades, there was the question of when Booker was going to actively go for something that actually felt like the new century. Here is what the shortlist judges had to say about A Tale for the Time Being: “it’s about dualities at every level … it is incredibly clever and incredibly sweet, it is big-hearted and a novel we decided was most likely to make us realise the process of reading 152 books could make us feel Zen, rather than a little tired.”
Ruth Ozeki interviewed in WSJ
Ruth Ozeki, a Canadian-American of Japanese descent, is a novelist, filmmaker and Zen Buddhist priest. Her third novel, “A Tale for the Time Being,” was shortlisted last month for the 2013 Man Booker Prize, whose winner will be announced Oct. 15.
The book tells the story of Ruth, a woman who finds a Japanese teenage girl’s diary washed up on a beach in British Columbia, which she suspects arrived as part of the debris from the catastrophic 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Beth Jones is moved by the coming-of-age story at the heart of a time-bending novel (The Telegraph)
American-Japanese author Ruth Ozeki’s third novel opens with a bad pun by a suicidal Tokyo schoolgirl: “My name is Nao, and I am a time being… someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and everyone of us who is, or was, or ever will be,” she begins, addressing the unknown reader of her diary. “Together we’re making magic, at least for the time being.”
Man Booker Prize 2013 shortlist announced: Jim Crace leads the six authors with his swan song Harvest, reports The Independent
Three Asian writers, Indian-American Jhumpa Lahiri, New Zealander Eleanor Catton and Japanese-American Ruth Ozeki have made it to the Man Booker Prize 2013 shortlist, which was announced today.
Other contenders on the list are Colm Tóibín, NoViolet Bulawayo and Jim Crace. Jim Crace, with Harvest, is already being touted as the “marginal favourite” to take the top literary prize, The Independent said.