All Over Creation

It starts with the earth. How can it not? Imagine the planet like a split peach, whose pit forms the core, whose flesh its mantle, and whose fuzzy skin its crust — no, that doesn’t do justice to the crust, which is, after all, where all of life takes place.

From the author of My Year of Meats — a dramatic story of a prodigal daughter's homecoming to a heartland of genetically modified crops.

Lloyd Fuller, a God-fearing man, once ran the largest potato operation in Power County, Idaho, but when his fourteen-year-old daughter, Yumi (nicknamed “Yummy”), ran away, his luck changed, and he was forced to downsize. He sold his acreage to Yumi’s childhood friend, Cass, and now, twenty-five years later, he and his wife, Momoko, run a modest catalogue seed company out of her small but prolific garden.

Cass and her husband are hard-working farmers, trying to make a go of it despite difficult times and devastating setbacks: first childlessness, then cancer. Cass hasn’t seen or heard from her friend Yummy since the day Lloyd found out about Yummy’s affair with their high school history teacher, Elliot Rhodes. But after Lloyd has a heart attack and Momoko succumbs to dementia, Cass decides to track her friend down.

When Yumi, now a single mom and part-time college teacher who sells Hawaiian real estate on the side, arrives back at the farm with her three mixed-race, illegitimate children in tow, she fully expects the confrontation with her past to be difficult. What she doesn’t anticipate is the chaos precipitated by the sudden arrival of the Seeds of Resistance, an irrepressible eco-activist group, who find Lloyd’s fundamentalist views of life’s sacred nature in synch with their own, proclaim him their guru, and move into the Fullers’ driveway. As the Seeds nurse her dying father, charm her kids, and help Momoko catalogue her seeds before her memory fails entirely, Yumi finds herself increasingly alienated, so that when Elliot, her former lover and now a PR flack for agribusiness, arrives in town to push a genetically modified line of seed potatoes, she welcomes him with open arms.

With the wheels of fate and fortune thus set in motion, the conflicts build, and the small town of Liberty Falls becomes the point of implosion for a drama that is at once romantic, familial, personal, and political. With its tight ensemble cast, suspenseful plotting, and Ozeki’s signature humor, All over Creation tells a celebratory tale of the capacity for renewal that resides within us all.

Awards

  • American Book Award - Before Columbus Foundation, 2003
  • New York Times Notable Book for Fiction, 2003 
  • WILLA Literary Award for Contemporary Fiction, 2004 

For audiobook version, read by Anna Fields:

  • Audie® Award for Fiction, 2004
  • AudioFile Best Audiobook of the Year, 2003
  • AudioFile Earphones Award
  • Listen Up Award, 2003
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 compelling novel about a world we don’t realize we live in.
— Michael Pollan
All Over Creation opens wider with every plot twist as it moves from tenderness to comedy to sobering truth and the world in the eye of one family’s storm. This is Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang updated by thirty years, with modern environmental challenges on the map and women in the front seat, driving the story. Hooray—Ozeki rides again.
— Barbara Kingsolver
Sophisticated . . . a nice blend of humor and strangely affecting optimism. Ozeki has written a book where dread and hope coexist. Neither is given short shrift or magicked away.
The New York Times Book Review
Ozeki is a gifted storyteller. All Over Creation buzzes and blooms with the cross-pollination of races and subcultures, death and birth, betrayal and reconciliation, comedy and tragedy.
Los Angeles Time Book Review

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At local bookstores and online retailers as an audiobook, ebook, hardcover, and paperback, too.