14 Mar / All Over Creation by Ruth Ozeki + Author Interview [in AsianWeek]
Time for true confessions: When I read Ruth Ozeki’s first novel, My Year of Meats, a quirky, rollicking, memorable adventure about a documentary filmmaker who exposes the abuses in the bovine industry, I thought to myself, heck, maybe I can use this journalist thing to my advantage and track her down when she does her next book …
Thankfully for me – and all her fans – that wait is finally over. Her new book, All Over Creation, in which genetically engineered foods get skewered, debuts this week. When I caught up with her in British Columbia just before she took off for her third book tour (three because each title gets both hardcover and paperback tours), I immediately ‘fessed up. Thankfully, she laughed. Didn’t want to keep any secrets between friends.
Ozeki has an idyllic existence in a small town where she lives with her husband, where they grow most of their food (organically, of course), including exotic chickens. Raised in Connecticut by Yale professor parents, graduated in English literature and Asian Studies at Smith, then trained in classical Japanese literature at Nara Women’s University, Ozeki had a whole other career in filmmaking before she turned to writing. When she landed at Sundance in 1996, she confessed to a journalist that she actually dreamed of being a novelist, not necessarily a filmmaker. How lucky for us that she traded in her reels to put words to a different kind of screen — the computer kind. The rest, as they say …
AsianWeek: So what’s the best thing about the book tour? What’s the worst?
Ruth Ozeki: The best part is meeting my readers and I have to say that I have very cool readers. In a way, when you write a book and put it out there in the world, the people who are attracted to the book are already a self-selected group of potential friends. They know the way I think. They like the way I think and generally are the kind of people I would choose for friends, which means meeting my readers is also the hardest thing about book tours. I spot potential friends everywhere I go, but have no time because I’m moved along so quickly from city to city. A book tour is like being on a conveyor belt. I just want to talk and relax with all these new friends, so it’s incredibly frustrating because the schedule is relentless. …[click here for more]
Author interview: “The Creation of Fiction,” AsianWeek, March 14, 2003