Tale for the Time Being (Ozeki)

Author Bio
Birth—March 12, 1956
Where—New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Education—Smith College; Hara University
Awards—Kiriyama Prize; American Book Award
Currently—lives in New York City, New York, and British Columbia


Ruth Ozeki is a Canadian-American novelist, filmmaker and Zen Buddhist priest. She worked in commercial television and media production for over a decade and made several independent films before turning to writing fiction.

She was born in New Haven, Connecticut of American father and a Japanese mother. She studied English and Asian Studies at Smith College and traveled extensively in Asia. She received a Japanese Ministry of Education Fellowship to do graduate work in classical Japanese literature at Nara University. During her years in Japan, she worked in Kyoto’s entertainment or “water” district as a bar hostess, studied flower arrangement as well as Noh drama and mask carving, founded a language school, and taught in the English Department at Kyoto Sangyo University.

Film and novels
Ozeki returned to New York in 1985 and began a film career as an art director, designing sets and props for low budget horror movies. She switched to television production, and after several years directing documentary-style programs for a Japanese company, she started making her own films. Body of Correspondence (1994) won the New Visions Award at the San Francisco Film Festival and was aired on PBS. Halving the Bones (1995), an award-winning autobiographical film, tells the story of Ozeki’s journey as she brings her grandmother’s remains home from Japan. It has been screened at the Sundance Film Festival, the Museum of Modern Art, the Montreal World Film Festival, and the Margaret Mead Film Festival, among others. Ozeki’s films, now in educational distribution, are shown at universities, museums and arts venues around the world.

Ozeki’s two earlier novels, My Year of Meats (1998) and All Over Creation (2003), were both recognized as Notable Books by The New York Times.

Ozeki  currently divides her time between New York City and British Columbia, where she writes, knits socks, and raises ducks with her husband, artist Oliver Kellhammer. She practices Zen Buddhism with Zoketsu Norman Fischer, and is the editor of the Everyday Zen website. She was ordained as a priest in June, 2010. (Adapted from Wikipedia.)

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