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Asian American Book Club

A Tale for the Time Being

Our book club offers members of the Dartmouth community the unique opportunity to engage in meaningful and thoughtful literary discussions that delve into a variety of cultural, political, social, and personal issues related to the Pan Asian experience. This is a collaborative partnership made possible only with the support of Asian American Studies, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity, and the Dartmouth College Library.

Who can join the book club?

The book club is open to anyone in the Dartmouth community. The only requirements are 1) an interest and passion for reading, 2) an interest in Asian American issues and identity development, and 3) dedication to attending the planned book club meetings during the 2014 winter term.

What book are we reading?

We will be reading A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. "A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be..."

Spanning the planet from Tokyo's Electric Town to Desolation Sound, British Columbia, and connected by the great Pacific gyres, A Tale for the Time Being tells the story of a diary washed ashore inside a Hello Kitty lunchbox and the profound effect it has on the woman who discovers it. Open up this book and discover: an earthquake-causing catfish, a hundred-and-four-year-old Buddhist nun, French maid cafes in a mangra-fied world, cyberbullying, natural disasters, Zen philosophy, the infinite possibilities of time, and an uplifting story of love, loss, and wisdom old and new.

"Ozeki is one of my favorite novelists and here she is at her absolute best-bewitching, intelligent, hilarious and heartbreaking, often on the same page."
~Junot Diaz, author of The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

When should I read the book?

Participants are encouraged to read the book over winter interim.

What are the planned meetings for this book club?

There are a series of events scheduled for the 2014 winter term.

  • Exhibit: Asian American Authors in Baker-Berry Library Collections - January 6-31, 2014 along Berry Main Street
  • Student Book Discussion led by Professor Aimee Bahng - Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 7-8:30pm in the Poetry Room of the Sanborn House
  • Creative Writing Workshop with Professor Jeff Sharlet - Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 7-8:30pm in the Poetry Room of the Sanborn House
  • Staff & Faculty Lunch Discussion Hosted by IDE - Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 12-1pm in 324 Blunt (lunch provided)

Is there a cost to participate in the book club?

No, there are no costs or membership fees associated with the book club. OPASA has 14 free copies of the book to provide to Dartmouth undergraduate students. These texts will be raffled off at Pan Asian community events as well as distributed on a request first-come, first-serve basis. IDE has a set of copies available for loan for interested faculty and staff from their lending library in 304 Blunt. Additionally, the College Library has both hardcover and kindle-reader copies available for checkout.

Last Updated: 1/9/17