Ruth Ozeki

Courtesy photo

When Ruth Ozeki’s latest novel, A Tale For The Time Being hit bookshelves last March it had been a decade since her last work, 2003’s All Over Creation, was published. She’d undergone several transformations in that time—both of her parents passed away after long illnesses, she found herself enamored of Zen Buddhism and, eventually, she became an ordained priest in 2010.

Themes of time and communication are central to the novel’s plot, a book that began, she says, after her main character, a young girl named Nao, spoke directly to her.

kk+ / Flickr

In Ruth Ozeki's first two books, her protagonists were strong Japanese-American women, and on book tours, she was often asked if they were based on herself.