Ruth Ozeki is the author of My Year of Meats, All Over Creation and A Tale for the Time Being, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. For Granta’s Japan issue, she wrote an essay on her grandfather: about a mysterious photograph she has of him and about the ways she feels linked to him across time.

In the latest Granta podcast, she reads from the piece and discusses it alongside her latest novel, A Tale for the Time Being, touching on haiku, feminist Buddhist nuns, memory, the idea of cultural gyres and why and how she wrote herself into her book.

‘I’m mixed race, I’m kind of like the meeting point between these two cultures and these two histories. And somehow that is in my DNA, and growing up mixed race, it always did feel like there was a tension there between the two halves. And I never was quite sure who I was or who I was supposed to be… it seemed very odd and unstable to be who I was.’


Photograph by kris krüg

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