Press enter after choosing selection

A Tale for the Time Being

Ozeki, Ruth L. Book - 2013 Adult Book / Fiction / General / Ozeki, Ruth L., Fiction / Ozeki, Ruth 1 On Shelf No requests on this item Community Rating: 4 out of 5

Cover image for A tale for the time being

Sign in to request

Call Number: Adult Book / Fiction / General / Ozeki, Ruth L., Fiction / Ozeki, Ruth
On Shelf At: Pittsfield Branch

Location & Checkout Length Call Number Checkout Length Item Status
Pittsfield Adult Books
4-week checkout
Adult Book / Fiction / General / Ozeki, Ruth L. 4-week checkout On Shelf
Downtown 2nd Floor
4-week checkout
Fiction / Ozeki, Ruth 4-week checkout Due 03-13-2024
Downtown 2nd Floor
4-week checkout
Fiction / Ozeki, Ruth 4-week checkout Due 03-22-2024
Malletts Adult Books
4-week checkout
Adult Book / Fiction / General / Ozeki, Ruth L. 4-week checkout Due 03-22-2024

"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"-- Provided by publisher.


Library Journal Review
Booklist Review
Publishers Weekly Review
Summary / Annotation
Fiction Profile
Author Notes


Must read this one twice submitted by Jannana37 on June 12, 2015, 12:41pm This is one of those rare books that requires a second read.
I was engrossed and entertained the first time through. When I finished the last page, I closed the book, thought about it for a minute or two while sitting quietly and smiling, then I opened the book and started reading it all over again.
I picked up details in the second read that were important later on in the story, and I grew to love the 3 main characters even more.
I recommend this book to all my reading friends.
I rarely buy books (I'd need an extra building in which to store them) but I will buy this one when I see it in the Library's book sale. It will go on the shelf with my other read-again favorites because I'm sure I'll get new things out of it each time I read it.

Great Book submitted by Ilyjtwya on June 12, 2015, 8:06pm I'm so pleased that this was selected for the recent Ypsi/Ann Arbor Reads, I never would have discovered it otherwise. It's difficult to discuss without giving much away, so I'll just highly recommend it for adults.

I would like to note that there are some adult subjects discussed in the story, such as depression, planning suicide (as mentioned in the publisher notes) and prostitution. Parents may want to read the (entire) book to help decide if their child is ready for it, and give them the ability to discuss it.

Wonderful community reads book submitted by wendylv on July 2, 2015, 9:40pm i enjoyed this book so much and am so glad it was chosen for Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor Reads. This is a beautiful and complex tale readers will find rewarding.

Great Book submitted by cathysanborn on July 6, 2015, 9:21pm This was a great pick for this years 2015 Ann Arbor Reads. I enjoyed it so much. Thank you for selecting it!

Great Book submitted by JoCeAn on July 8, 2016, 4:41pm Really enjoyed this book. So beautifully written. Great choice.

a good Ann Arbor Reads book submitted by 21621031390949 on August 11, 2016, 9:40pm I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which is interesting and well-written. I did get lost in the (few) sections about quantum mechanics and time theory, but I suspect the main character (Ruth) did too!

Beautifully written book submitted by dicencal on August 12, 2016, 1:02pm This is a thoughtful, beautifully written book. The two narratives play off each other perfectly, and Ozeki does a great job of pulling them together at the end.

A good read submitted by redwood on August 4, 2019, 12:41pm My least favorite of her three novels, but it's still excellent. Nao is a very unique character, perfectly realized.

A worthwhile novel submitted by CarolSeidl on June 30, 2021, 11:59am This book is one of my favorites that I have read this year. It contains some interesting references to Japanese language. Additionally, the story is compelling and rich. However, it does contain some mature content.

Cover image for A tale for the time being

New York : Viking, 2013.
Year Published: 2013
Description: 422 p.
Language: English
Format: Book


Teenage girls -- Fiction.
Buddhist nuns -- Fiction.
Women authors -- Fiction.
Tokyo (Japan) -- Fiction.
Vancouver Island (B.C.) -- Fiction.