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.
“Ruth Ozeki is bent on taking the novel into corners of American culture no one else has thought to look – but where she finds us in all our transcultural and technological weirdness. With a combination of humor and pathos that is all her own, Ozeki brings the American pastoral forward into the age of agribusiness and genetic engineering. The result is a smart and compelling novel about a world we don’t realize we live in.”
-Michael Pollan, author of “The Botany of Desire”
“This is a very cool book, satirical but never mean, funny, peopled by fully inhabited characters who are both blind and self-aware. Ruth Ozeki’s My Year of Meats reassures us that media and culture, though bound inextricably, will never become one.”
- John Sayles, former member, Amalgamated Meat Packers and Butcher Workers of North America; Director of Matewan, Men with Guns, and Sunshine Coast.
Forty-two fresh, vibrant, dissonant voices in contemporary Asian American writing come together in this groundbreaking anthology. Edited by acclaimed novelist Jessica Hagedorn, this collection of short stories celebrates the rich spectrum of Asian American experience and identities. Ruth Ozeki’s “Ships in the Night” is one of the stories included.
-Barry Walters, San Francisco Examiner.