Summary

In Tokyo, shy, bullied 16-year-old Nao determines to end it all-but not before chronicling the life of her great-grandmother, a Buddhist nun. After the 2011 tsunami, a novelist named Ruth opens a Hello Kitty lunchbox thats fetched up on a remote island off North Americas coast and is immediately drawn into the story of Nao and her ancestor. Ozeki lives part-time in British Columbia and was recently ordained a Buddhist nun, so in some ways shes writing close to home. But heres betting that this award-winning novelist (My Year of Meats), also honored for her work in film, will take her narrative to the next level while remaining engagingly accessible; the best-selling Meats was translated into 11 languages and sold in 14 countries. Sales rep enthusiasm, too.


A brilliant, unforgettable, and long-awaited novel from bestselling author Ruth Ozeki

“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 Beingis a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.