ALL OVER CREATION is Ruth Ozeki's second novel. Her first novel, My Year of Meat, is also published by Picador. She divides her time between New York City and British Columbia.
After the surprise hit My Year of Meats, Ozeki presents the travails of former hippie Yummy. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
"Every seed has a story," says Geek, an environmental activist in Ruth Ozeki's new novel (after My Year of Meats), which is all about seeds-real and metaphorical ones. The Seeds of Resistance is a small anti-biotech group targeting Nu-Life potato, a laboratory-designed tuber produced by agribusiness company Cyanco. Heading for the heart of potato country, the ragged activists end up in Liberty Falls, Idaho, encamped at the home of Lloyd and Momoko Fuller, elderly purveyors of natural seeds. Though they're hardly radicals, the Fullers are also opposed to genetic modification of plants. Against the odds, the hippie Seeds and the conservative Fullers become friends. It is the other adult in the Fuller household, their only daughter, Yumi, who is suspicious of the Seeds. Yumi is an ex-hippie living in Hawaii, but she's returned home to care for her parents (her father is recovering from his last heart attack; her mother has Alzheimer's). Emotionally, Yumi is rather a mess. She has a bit of a problem with alcohol, and is unable to resist inappropriate guys, having three kids with as many men (Phoenix, 14; Ocean, 6; and baby Poo). A classic "bad seed," Yumi ran away from home at 14, after having an affair with her history teacher, Elliot Rhodes; back in Liberty Falls, she runs into Elliot and is again attracted. He is working for Cyanco's PR firm, spying on the Seeds. When the Seeds hold a Fourth of July potato protest on the Fullers' property, Elliot arranges for them to be arrested, with dire consequences for Lloyd. Apart from some awkward dialogue (the Seeds invariably intersperse their sentences with "dude"), this quirky novel is bewitching. Yumi's bumpy relationship with Lloyd and Lloyd's unexpected fondness for the Seeds are especially well rendered. Ozeki's story splices a bit of Edward Abbey into an Anne Tyler plot. The fruits of this mix are definitely worth tasting. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
"Romance, agribusiness, self-discovery, cross-cultural misunderstanding . . . My Year of Meats is a sensitive and compelling portrait of two modern women."