Thursday, December 12, 2013

Using the book in the spring?

Instructors! Are you planning to use A Tale for the Time Being in your spring courses? Do you want your students to be able to access the book for free? If so, fill out our request form and we'll add you to our list of participating courses for the spring.

For students in spring courses, we send out vouchers that can be redeemed at six campus libraries (Chemistry Library, College Library, Ebling Library, Memorial Library, Steenbock Library and Wendt Commons) for free copies of the book. If you need us to send you hard copies of the book for your teaching assistants, or if you need your own desk copy, you can indicate so in the request form.

If you're still not sure whether you'll use A Tale for the Time Being this spring, don't worry! Just send us an email (gobigread at library.wisc.edu) to request a free review copy.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

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.

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Guest Post: Reflections on the Nov. 14 talk by Professor Gene Phillips

It was enlightening to see the concept of Zen Buddhism depicted in images at the talk by Professor Gene Phillips (Professor in the Department of Art History; Director of the Center for East Asian Studies). One of the things that Professor Phillips discussed was how Zen monks in medieval Japan were commissioned to paint inspirational ink images based on koans (questions that a Zen Buddhist master gives to his disciples in order to help them understand the concepts of "mu" [nothingness, emptiness] and the universe's fundamental non-duality, which leads them to enlightenment: the goal, the ultimate state of mind, in Buddhism).

To learn more, see Professor Phillips's book, The Practices of Painting in Japan, 1475-1500.

Photo by Hiromi Naka, Japan Outreach Specialist, the Center for East Asian Studies

Ayako Yoshiumra, the Center for East Asian Studies

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