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The Book of Form and Emptiness: A Novel

The Book of Form and Emptiness: A Novel

"Feeling like your life is out of control? Wish you could just make all the noise go silent? Carry around a singular spoon to eat from to make it happy? So does the main character of this book, though perhaps a little differently from you, but together you'll learn to let it go, or, rather, take it all in. A heartwarming novel and a much-needed reminder in modern times."

Summer P.

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Author Ruth Ozeki
Publisher Penguin Books
Publication Date 2022-06-14
Section New Titles - Paperback / Fiction / All Staff Suggestions / Fiction Suggestions / Summer P.
Type New
Format Paperback
ISBN 9780399563669

“No one writes like Ruth Ozeki—a triumph.” —Matt Haig

“Inventive, vivid, and propelled by a sense of wonder.” —TIME

A boy who hears the voices of objects all around him; a mother drowning in her possessions; and a Book that might hold the secret to saving them both—the brilliantly inventive new novel from the Booker Prize-finalist Ruth Ozeki

One year after the death of his beloved musician father, thirteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house—a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn't understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are pleasant, a gentle hum or coo, but others are snide, angry and full of pain. When his mother, Annabelle, develops a hoarding problem, the voices grow more clamorous.
At first, Benny tries to ignore them, but soon the voices follow him outside the house, onto the street and at school, driving him at last to seek refuge in the silence of a large public library, where objects are well-behaved and know to speak in whispers. There, Benny discovers a strange new world. He falls in love with a mesmerizing street artist with a smug pet ferret, who uses the library as her performance space. He meets a homeless philosopher-poet, who encourages him to ask important questions and find his own voice amongst the many. And he meets his very own Book—a talking thing—who narrates Benny’s life and teaches him to listen to the things that truly matter.
With its blend of sympathetic characters, riveting plot, and vibrant engagement with everything from jazz, to climate change, to our attachment to material possessions, The Book of Form and Emptiness is classic Ruth Ozeki—bold, wise, poignant, playful, humane and heartbreaking.

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