After the tragic death of his father, fourteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house and sound variously pleasant, angry or sad. Then his mother develops a hoarding problem, and the voices grow more clamorous. So Benny seeks refuge in the silence of a large public library. There he meets a mesmerising street artist with a smug pet ferret; a homeless philosopher-poet; and his very own Book, who narrates Benny’s life and teaches him to listen to the things that truly matter. Blending unforgettable characters with jazz, climate change and our attachment to material possessions, this is classic Ruth Ozeki – bold, humane and heartbreaking.
About the Author:
Ruth Ozeki is a novelist, filmmaker and Zen Buddhist priest. She is the author of four novels including The Book of Form and Emptiness, which won the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and A Tale for the Time Being, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and translated into 28 languages.
Ozeki has also written a short memoir, Timecode of a Face. She is affiliated with the Everyday Zen Foundation and lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she teaches creative writing at Smith College and is the Grace Jarcho Ross 1933 Professor of Humanities
Nominating Library’s Comments:
This beautifully written book deals with issues of family love, mental illness, grief and loss, and the importance of friends. It is philosophical, heart-breaking and empowering, and it is also full of joy.
-Dunedin Public Libraries
The newest title from a beloved local author, this book takes place between the public library and the youth psych ward. It is simultaneously whimsical, philosophical, and heart-wrenching. It blends sympathetic characters and a vigorous engagement with everything from our attachment to material possessions to the climate crisis.
-Vancouver Public Library