Magazine article New Internationalist

A Tale for the Time Being

Magazine article New Internationalist

A Tale for the Time Being

Article excerpt

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Canongate, ISBN 9780857867964)

Ruth Ozeki's wonderful, intricate novel encompasses both global catastrophe and tiny human potentialities. In a series of nested narratives she examines and interrogates the pact between reader and writer, probing the blurred boundaries between fiction, autobiography and what we understand as reality. At the heart of the book is the diary of a teenage Japanese girl called Naoko Yasutani - Nao - who is bullied at school and whose depressed father repeatedly attempts suicide. In a parallel narrative, we discover that Nao's diary has been washed up on a beach in remote western Canada, possibly as a result of the tsunami that caused the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and is being read by a Japanese-American novelist called Ruth. …

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