Thanks to the cooperation of the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) and The School of Writing at The New School, as well as the tireless efforts of our students and faculty, we are able to provide interviews with each of the NBCC Awards Finalists for the publishing year 2013.
Mallory McMahon, on behalf of the School of Writing at The New School and the NBCC, interviewed Ruth Ozeki, via phone, about A Tale for the Time Being (Viking). A Tale for the Time Being (Viking) is among the final five selections, in the category of Fiction, for the 2013 NBCC awards.
From the publisher: 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 Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.
Ruth Ozeki, author of My Year of Meats and All Over Creation, is an award-winning writer and filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest. Her critically acclaimed independent films, including Halving the Bones, have been screened at Sundance and aired on PBS. She is affiliated with the Brooklyn Zen Center and the Everyday Zen Foundation. She lives in British Columbia and New York City.
Mallory McMahon is a Brooklyn, New York based writer and educator. She received her BA from Marymount Manhattan College and her MS Ed from Long Island University. Her first novel, Drift, Disappear, which drew heavily on her experiences as a public school Special Education teacher in the New York City public school system, won third place in the International 3-Day Novel Contest in February, 2013. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Fiction at The New School and working on a new novel.