Ruth Ozeki is a novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest. Her first two novels, My Year of Meats (1998) and All Over Creation (2003), have been translated into 11 languages and published in fourteen countries. Her most recent work, A Tale for the Time-Being (2013), was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and has been published in over thirty countries. A longtime Buddhist practitioner, Ruth ordained in 2010 and is affiliated with the Brooklyn Zen Center and the Everyday Zen Foundation. She lives in British Columbia and New York City.
"She is a writer who brings us perspectives we often fail to recognize in American literature . . . She explores the boundaries between different identities, Japanese and American, and her writing offers us insight on how such cultures can intersect and at times conflict with one another . . . An exciting author on the cusp of national recognition." -John Dos Passos Prize for Literature committee "Ozeki is one of my favorite novelists . . . bewitching, intelligent, hilarious, and heartbreaking, often on the same page." -Junot Diaz, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of This Is How You Lose Her "One of the most compelling through-lines is not surprisingly the problematics of a mixed race upbringing . . . It is fascinating to hear about Ozeki's life . . . Ozeki squarely considers the thorny politics around aging and questions of beauty. Here, Ozeki ponders the kinds of decisions that go into things like plastic surgery and an author's publicity photo. As always, Ozeki injects humor into her prose, a characteristic of all of her earlier publications, making this reading experience undoubtedly captivating." -Asian American Literature Fans "Throughout Ozeki's essay her refreshing and cultivated wisdom leads us through the mind of a compassionate, grounded human and a writer of real integrity." -Electric Literature "The Face, as with the best of literary nonfiction, incorporates elements of memoir and essay, conjecture and meditation, allowing the reader to accompany each author as he or she creates a text that is utterly unique and universally affecting. Each book, on its own, is quirky, funny, sad, and profound; taken together, they have much to tell us about the culture at large, the ties that bind, and the truth - painful, hopeful, reassuring, provocative - of our place on the continuum as daughters, sons, and citizens. It's a brilliant idea: give a bunch of good writers a prompt that is at once personal and political, and you're bound to send readers running to the mirror, turning this way and that in an effort to reckon with who they are and who they want to be." -Los Angeles Review of Books "This long essay, like the experiment it describes, is strange in the best sense, plus funny, moving and deeply wise." -San Francisco Chronicle "Ruth Ozeki, a Zen Buddhist priest, sets herself the task of staring at her face in a mirror for three full, uninterrupted hours; her ruminations ripple out from personal and familial memories to wise and honest meditations on families and aging, race and the body." -Patricia Hagen, Minneapolis Star Tribune