Time can seem so mundane sometimes -- another day, another week goes by -- and what changes? But time is also the river that connects to the past, to ancestors and former selves.
That’s one of the central themes in novelist Ruth Ozeki’s latest book, "A Tale for the Time Being." And its a message that seems to resonate with many. Ozeki, who is a Buddhist priest as well as a writer, has seen her novel be shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Her book is also this year’s "Go Big Read" at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Common Reading Program, a kind of community-wide book club.
Using the theme of global connections as a guideline, "Go Big Read" organizers asked the campus community to suggest fiction titles, and UW-Madison Interim Chancellor David Ward chose Ozeki’s book from 192 nominated titles. The book is being taught in at least 50 course at the UW, and more than 1,000 people have checked out “A Tale for the Time Being” already from the Madison Public Library.
Ozeki said she is happy about the response.
“I can’t think of anything more wonderful. I find it very, very moving. In fact, even talking about it now, I find myself getting quite choked up,” said Ozeki.
The author even has personal ties to the Badger state.
“My father graduated from the university In fact, he was born in Stevens Point. So, this is, in so many ways, a huge honor. I look forward to visiting campus and talking to as many people as I can, and to carry on this conversation with both the university and the community," she said.
Ozeki will be in Wisconsin for a public reading and talk on Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. in Union South's Varsity Hall on campus.