The Low and Slow Book Club Reads: Ruth Ozeki's A Tale for the Time Being

Event date: 
10/19/2020 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Event address: 
Online Via Zoom

The Low and Slow book club (patent pending) will be back starting Monday, October 19th at 6 P.M. to wade through the ocean of Ruth Ozeki's novel A Tale for the Time Being.

The decision to read A Tale for the Time Being grew out of our reading of William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! and its fascination with history as a collective tale. A Tale for the Time Being does something similar in its approach to analyzing how the past is manipulated by personal experience, cultural understanding, and the kind of media we ingest. By digging through A Tale for the time Being, The Low and Slow Book Club hopes to examine both our collective and individual relationship to the past. Onto the pitch!

From the publisher: "In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying. 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." Though that brief summary makes the novel sound doomy and gloomy, I assure you there is a great sense of humor and cosmic wonder at the core of the book. More than anything, A Tale for the Time Being is about...time. The ways in which we experience its speeding up and slowing down, the way we can be drawn into the past through the words of others, and how we often experience the past lives of others as powerfully as we experience our own. It also helps that the novel is a joy to read, as Ozeki blends a number of voices and styles from different countries and eras to compose a narrative that is breezy in its prose and rich in its substance. Other topics include: environmental collapse, immigration and emigration, the troubles/joys of translation, quantum physics, Zen Buddhism, Kamikaze pilots, the early days of Japanese feminism. and many other delightfully interesting things.

The Low and Slow Book Club is a group centered around close reading books in small chunks. Like a good barbecue or soup, we firmly believe that the more time you spend cooking and stewing something the better it gets! The amount of time we devote to each book also allows to discuss each part of a book in great detail, with each member bringing their own unqiue and perspective to the pot. More than anything else, reading books in this manner allows for the formation of close relationships through the exploration of great books.  

We will meet weekly on Mondays at 6 P.M. The first of five sessions will take place on October 19th and cover pages 1-83 and will take place on Zoom. 

To participate in this event please send an RSVP to

A Tale for the Time Being: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143124870
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - December 31st, 2013

A brilliant, unforgettable novel from bestselling author Ruth Ozeki—shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award

“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.”