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Library: ‘A Tale for the Time Being’

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Ira Lax is a library technician in Outreach and Neighborhood Services at the AADL.

Ira Lax is a library technician in Outreach and Neighborhood Services at the AADL.

Ruth Ozeki’s novel, the selected book for Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 2015, will appeal to high school and adult readers for its contemporary style, complex structure and cross-cultural lens.

The plot of “A Tale for the Time Being” grows from a diary kept by a Japanese teen, Nao, that is washed up on a small British Columbia Island after the 2011 tsunami and Fukushima nuclear meltdown. Ruth, a young writer, finds the diary. The tale spans Japanese and North American culture in the digital age, following a father and daughter who bring their Silicon Valley American experiences back with them to Tokyo, resulting in great personal difficulties of readjustment.

They struggle to reclaim their lives and family with help from Nao’s 104-year-old great-grandmother, a Zen Buddhist priest. Readers will connect with these characters as they struggle with bullying, suicide, unemployment, cultural dislocation, nature, ghosts, time and memory — plenty to spark good discussions. Copies are available at the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti District libraries and area bookstores.

Ozeki — novelist, filmmaker and Zen Buddhist priest — will discuss her book and work at a special appearance from 7-9 p.m. Feb. 11 at Rackham Auditorium, 915 E. Washington, Ann Arbor.  The event includes a book signing.

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