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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Goodreads Interview with Ruth Ozeki

In case you haven’t gotten enough Ruth Ozeki yet, check out this awesome interview with our Go Big Read author! Goodreads readers submitted questions about A Tale for the Time Being, and Ruth Ozeki sat down with the interviewers to chat about the book, her writing process, her concepts of reality and fiction, self, creativity and everything in between. Below, a few quotations worth thinking about:

My
feeling is that as a person, as a storyteller, I want to be very
careful with the kinds of things I put into the world. I want to make
sure that I am writing from a place of integrity, whatever that might
mean. For me, it means that I am writing in the most honest way I know.
And that doesn’t mean telling the truth.

My
books grow out of my preoccupations. So I am a being in time, and
things are happening in the world around me, and I read about them or
experience them and react to them. I become interested, I start to
investigate, I ponder them. In a way, the writing of a novel is less
about telling a specific story and more about allowing a process of
inquiry to shape what happens on the page. These events will happen in
the world, they’ll enter my mind, I’ll start to think about them, and
the juxtapositions will somehow start to generate story. At that point
my job is just to follow that.

My
books grow out of my preoccupations. So I am a being in time, and
things are happening in the world around me, and I read about them or
experience them and react to them. I become interested, I start to
investigate, I ponder them. In a way, the writing of a novel is less
about telling a specific story and more about allowing a process of
inquiry to shape what happens on the page. These events will happen in
the world, they’ll enter my mind, I’ll start to think about them, and
the juxtapositions will somehow start to generate story. At that point
my job is just to follow that.

Has your appetite been whetted? Head over to Goodreads for the full interview.