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eBook My Year of Meats: A Novel ePub

eBook My Year of Meats: A Novel ePub

by Ruth Ozeki

  • ISBN: 0670879045
  • Category: United States
  • Subcategory: Literature
  • Author: Ruth Ozeki
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; 1st edition (June 1, 1998)
  • Pages: 432
  • ePub book: 1232 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1410 kb
  • Other: doc lrf lit mobi
  • Rating: 4.8
  • Votes: 939

Description

My Year of Meats pulsates with passion. They include a remarkable interview with Ozeki that convincingly spells out how the book evolved from a series of sketches about her experiences doing TV production.

My Year of Meats pulsates with passion. Ozeki’s first novel detonates an attack on the meat industry that would make Upton Sinclair sit up and smile. yet all this energy doesn’t obscure the novel’s quirky charm. Ruth Ozeki masks a deeper purpose with a light tone. I have some critical quibbles about the structure of the ending.

Электронная книга "My Year of Meats: A Novel", Ruth Ozeki

Электронная книга "My Year of Meats: A Novel", Ruth Ozeki. Эту книгу можно прочитать в Google Play Книгах на компьютере, а также на устройствах Android и iOS. Выделяйте текст, добавляйте закладки и делайте заметки, скачав книгу "My Year of Meats: A Novel" для чтения в офлайн-режиме.

Ruth Ozeki is a novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest

Ruth Ozeki is a novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest. She is the award-winning author of three novels, My Year of Meats, All Over Creation, and A Tale for the Time Being, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

My Year of Meats book.

Choy, Christine, and Spiro Lampros, directors. 346 9th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103, and Filmmakers’ Library, 124 East 40th Street, New York, . New York/London: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1996. Colbom, Theo, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Peterson Myers. Our Stolen Future: Are We Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence, and Survival?-A Scientific Detective Story. New York: Plume, 1997.

Ruth Ozeki is an American-Canadian author, filmmaker and Zen Buddhist priest. Her books and films, including the novels My Year of Meats (1998), All Over Creation (2003), and A Tale for the Time Being (2013), seek to integrate personal narrative and social issues, and deal with themes relating to science, technology, environmental politics, race, religion, war and global popular culture.

My Year of Meats is a novel by Ruth Ozeki. Jane Takagi-Little is a Japanese-American documentary filmmaker who is hired to work for a Japanese production company, where she uncovers some unsavory truths about love, fertility, and a dangerous hormone called DES. The company works with BEEF-EX to promote the use of American beef in Japan by creating a Japanese television show called My American Wife!.

When documentarian Jane Takagi-Little finally lands a job producing a Japanese television show that just happens to be sponsored by an American meat-exporting business, she uncovers some unsavory truths about love, fertility, and a dangerous hormone called DES.

At first glance, a novel that promises to expose the unethical practices of the American meat industry may not be at the top of your reading list, but Ruth Ozeki's.

Strange things happen in the love lives of two women--one a Japanese-American filmmaker from New York, the other a Japanese housewife--linked by a Japanese television show sponsored by an American meat exporter. A first novel. 40,000 first printing. BOMC Alt & QPB. Tour.

Comments

Azago Azago
A delightful part of reading certain good books is realizing that you've fallen in love with the protagonist. The experience is heightened if you come to this affection a little reluctantly and with distinct misgivings. But best of all is closing in on the conclusion thoroughly hooked, mincing along that classic balance between comedy and tragedy. "My," you suddenly think. "She's really not taking good care of herself. Say, this could end very badly. Oh, golly, not that..."
So it is with Jane Takagi-Little, the hero of Ruth Ozeki's "My Year of Meats." She first appears as an out-of-work (hungry) documentarian who gets an offer to work on a Japanese TV series to be called "My American Wife!" The series pretends to be about America and Americans, but really, "Meat is the message." Every week, a family of "real" Americans will share their life-and their favorite meat recipe. A council of beef producers (BEEF-EX) wants to sell Japanese housewives more meat. I was doubtful, but Jane needed to pay the rent. She bit.
Soon we're on the road with Jane and the meat show. The Japanese production crew needs her language and negotiating abilities to make TV programs with ordinary people. Right away we sense the exploitative flavor of making programs that are more interested in what people eat than who they are. But Jane is interested in people. Yet, she's definitely a edgy character-six androgynous feet tall with streaks of purple hair. First doubtful thing she does is take up with a vaguely menacing guy that she met through phone sex. Hmmm.
Just when we've had about enough of Jane for awhile, the narrative POV shifts to Akiko Ueno, a shy woman who watches My American Wife! at home in Japan and loves the show and really wants to eat more meat. Not coincidentally, Akiko is married to the sponsor's representative. And this is just the beginning of the complications.
Structurally, this is a thoroughly modern text. Instead of a straight narrative line, it weaves together first and third person voices, classical Japanese literature and, of course, meat recipes. But it's never heavy; in fact, it's increasingly hilarious. Some of the most riotous series are exchanges of faxes and emails between the producers and Jane. The slightly mangled syntax of Japanese English is letter perfect. And Jane's obsequious, double-edged replies are masterful-particularly for anyone who's ever had to write such a memo to ones higher-ups. Increasingly, Jane comes into conflict with her producers-ultimately with BEEF-EX itself-and the supposedly fawning memo is her first line of attack.
Why? Because Jane really does care. She finds beauty and nobility in the American heartland and she wants to tell the truth about it-even if that means making meat something of a side dish. And she has the artistic sensibilities to do a great job. First there's the Cajun couple who happen to have adopted 12 orphans of various races. (Think of all the meat they can eat.) Then there's the charming congregation of a primitive Baptist church. Trouble is, their best recipe is for fried chicken-not beef at all--and there's an odd thing about chicken. Wait a minute, these aren't the good corn-fed, wholesome Americans we had in mind. The producers are getting nervous. The pot really comes to a bubble when Jane decides to produce a segment about a really sweet lesbian couple. What's their favorite recipe? Unfortunately...

So now I'm sold. Jane's a keeper. This book is funny. But just when it seems like the novel is sorting itself out into a safe little farce, the gravy starts to burn. Jane starts doing research about the hormone DES-sometimes used as a feed supplement in livestock production. Here, things got distinctly personal for me. Wait a minute, DES? DES is what they mistakenly gave pregnant women back in the 50s and never found out that anything was wrong with it `til their daughters started developing cervical cancer 20 years out. My mother was part of the DES experiment in a Chicago research hospital-she got the placebo, or so I'm told. And every year or so, I get a letter from the DES research council checking to see if I'm alive. But what about Jane? Oh, this could be really bad...But I've got to stop writing about it before I give something away.
Ruth Ozeki is the genuine article. She hits on every level and sneaks around and hits again. The Penguin edition has an informative series of appendices. They include a remarkable interview with Ozeki that convincingly spells out how the book evolved from a series of sketches about her experiences doing TV production. That sense of evolving artistic sensibility and the adventure of documentary research shines through at every turn. I have some critical quibbles about the structure of the ending. But I'm going to zip my trap because I want everyone to read it for themselves. No dessert `til you've finished your main course.
Love Me Love Me
A delightful part of reading certain good books is falling in love with the protagonist. The experience is heightened if you come to your affection a little reluctantly and with distinct misgivings. But best of all is closing in on the conclusion thoroughly hooked, mincing along that classic balance between comedy and tragedy. "My," you suddenly think. "She's really not taking good care of herself. Say, this could end very badly. Oh, golly, not that..."
So it is with Jane Takagi-Little, the hero of Ruth Ozeki's "My Year of Meats." She first appears as an out-of-work (hungry) documentarian who gets an offer to work on a Japanese TV series to be called "My American Wife." The series pretends to be about America and Americans, but really, "Meat is the message." A council of beef producers (BEEF-EX) wants to sell Japanese housewives more meat. I was doubtful, but Jane needed to pay the rent. She bit.
Soon we're on the road with Jane and the meat show. The Japanese production crew needs her language and negotiating abilities to make TV programs with ordinary people. Right away we sense the exploitative flavor of making programs that are more interested in what people eat than who they are. But Jane is interested in people. Yet, she's definitely a edgy character. First doubtful thing she does is take up with a vaguely menacing guy that she met through phone sex. Hmmm.
And just when we've had about enough of Jane for awhile, the narrative POV shifts to Akiko Ueno, a shy woman who watches My American Wife at home in Japan and loves the show and really wants to eat more meat. Not coincidentally, Akiko is married to the sponsor's representative. And this is just the beginning of the complications.
Structurally, this is a thoroughly modern text. Instead of a straight narrative line, it weaves together first and third person narration, classical Japanese literature and, of course, meat recipes. But it's never heavy; in fact, it's increasingly hilarious. Some of the most riotous series are exchanges of faxes and emails between the producers and Jane. The slightly mangled syntax of Japanese English is letter perfect. And Jane's obsequious, double-edged replies are masterful-particularly for anyone who's ever had to write such a memo to ones higher-ups. Increasingly, Jane comes into conflict with her producers-ultimately with BEEF-EX itself-and the supposedly fawning memo is her first line of attack.

Why? Because Jane really does care. She finds beauty and nobility in the American heartland and she wants to tell about it-even if that means making meat something of a side dish. And she has the artistic sensibilities to do a good job of it. First there's the Cajun couple who happen to have adopted 12 orphans of various races. (Think of all the meat they can eat.) Then there's the charming congregation of a primitive Baptist church. Trouble is, their best recipe is for fried chicken-not beef at all--and there's an odd thing about chicken. Wait a minute, these aren't the good corn-fed, wholesome Americans we had in mind. The producers are getting nervous. The pot really comes to a bubble when Jane decides to produce a segment about a really sweet lesbian couple. What's their favorite recipe? Unfortunately...
So now I'm sold. Jane's a keeper. This book is funny. But just when it seems like the novel is sorting itself out into a safe little farce, the gravy starts to burn. Jane starts doing research about the hormone DES-sometimes used as a feed supplement in livestock production. Here, things got distinctly personal for me. Wait a minute, DES? DES is what they mistakenly gave pregnant women back in the 50s and never found out that anything was wrong with it `til their daughters started developing cervical cancer 20 years out. My mother was part of the DES experiment in a Chicago research hospital-she got the placebo, or so I'm told. And every year or so, I get a letter from the DES research council checking to see if I'm alive. But what about Jane? Oh, this could be really bad...But I've got to stop writing about it before I give something away.
Ruth Ozeki is the genuine article. She hits on every level and sneaks around and hits again. The Penguin edition has an informative series of appendices. They include a remarkable interview with Ozeki that convincingly spells out how the book evolved from a series of sketches about her experiences doing TV production. That sense of evolving artistic sensibility and and the adventure of documentary research shines through at every turn. I have some critical quibbles about the structure of the ending. But I'm going to zip my trap because I want everyone to read it for themselves. No dessert `til you've finished your main course.
Golden freddi Golden freddi
I loved "My Yeat of Meat" (the Aussie edition uses "meat" in the singular), and I loved meeting Ruth Ozeki when she came to town for the Melbourne Writers Festival. What I'm not so enamored by, though, are some of the reviews below, waxing snide about the heavy-handedness of the issues raised. Is that the acrid stench of sour grapes I smell?
What we have here is a first novel of astonishing confidence and complexity - a brilliant balance of issues, mixed and baked with deftness and a huge dose of humour. But where to begin? Perhaps with the feminist slant: the beautifully counter-balanced relationship between Jane and Akiko; Akiko's gradual emergence from submission to self-empowerment; Jane's wonderful and wacky relationship with Sloane (If you ever meet Ruth, ask her to read the Nebraska scene to you).
Or perhaps there's the cross-cultural angle: the plodding formality of the Japanese executives, vs the increasingly perplexed Jane, sending surreptitiously sarcastic memos across the seas; poor, startled Akiko studiously note-taking each show, with wide-eyed perplexity.
Or of course, there's the meat of the book itself - the terrifying reality of the US meat industry, and its appalling practices.
It's rare indeed to find a book which can balance this many themes so beautifully (and I haven't touched on many), and tell a tale with such compassion for characters. It's even rarer to find that such a novel is from a debut writer!! Forget the nonsense below about how PC it is - "My Year of Meat" is very cool and really really clever. It deserves a much bigger audience than it's had. This book is fun. Serious Fun.