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Ruth Ozeki        

Author and Filmmaker

Ruth Ozeki is an award-winning filmmaker and novelist, whose work has been characterized by USA Today as "ardent and passionate...rare and provocative." Her first novel, My Year of Meats, a sexy, poignant, funny tale about global meat and media production, garnered widespread glowing reviews and international success. It won the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Award, the Imus/Barnes and Noble American Book Award, and a Special Jury Prize of the World Cookbook Awards in Versailles.

Ozeki's second novel, All Over Creation shifts the focus from meat to potatoes in a story of a family farmer and his prodigal daughter, an itinerant gang of environmental activists, and New Age corporate spin doctors for agribusiness, whose lives and interests collide. In a starred review, Kirkus declared it, "a feast for mind and heart.”

Raised in Connecticut by an American father and a Japanese mother, Ozeki studied English and Asian Studies at Smith College and traveled extensively in Asia. She received a Japanese Ministry of Education Fellowship to do graduate work in classical Japanese literature at Nara University. During her years in Japan, she worked in Kyoto's entertainment or "water" district as a bar hostess, studied flower arrangement as well as Noh drama and mask carving, founded a language school, and taught in the English Department at Kyoto Sangyo University.

She returned to New York in 1985 and began a film career as an art director. She switched to television production, and after several years directing documentary-style programs for a Japanese company, she started making her own films. Body of Correspondence won the New Visions Award at the San Francisco Film Festival and was aired on PBS. Halving the Bones, an award-winning autobiographical film, tells the story of Ozeki's journey as she brings her grandmother's remains home from Japan. Ozeki's films, now in educational distribution, are shown at universities, museums and arts venues around the world.

Speech Topics

An Evening with Ruth Ozeki

A Tale for the Time Being

All Over Creation

My Year of Meats

The Japanese Way of Art and Film

Bi-Cultural Creativity


'A Tale for the Time Being,' by Ruth Ozeki -

In Ruth Ozeki's "Tale for the Time Being," a teenage Japanese girl's diary washes ashore off the Canadian coast and is found by an introspective novelist.

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