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The Housekeeper and the Professor
by Yoko Ogawa and Stephen Snyder


Overview -

He is a brilliant math Professor with a peculiar problem ever since a traumatic head injury, he has lived with only eighty minutes of short-term memory.
She is an astute young Housekeeper with a ten-year-old son who is hired to care for the Professor.  Read more...


 
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More About The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa; Stephen Snyder
 
 
 
Overview

He is a brilliant math Professor with a peculiar problem ever since a traumatic head injury, he has lived with only eighty minutes of short-term memory.
She is an astute young Housekeeper with a ten-year-old son who is hired to care for the Professor.
And every morning, as the Professor and the Housekeeper are introduced to each other anew, a strange and beautiful relationship blossoms between them. Though he cannot hold memories for long (his brain is like a tape that begins to erase itself every eighty minutes), the Professor's mind is still alive with elegant equations from the past. And the numbers, in all of their articulate order, reveal a sheltering and poetic world to both the Housekeeper and her young son. The Professor is capable of discovering connections between the simplest of quantities like the Housekeeper's shoe size and the universe at large, drawing their lives ever closer and more profoundly together, even as his memory slips away.
Yoko Ogawa's "The Housekeeper and the Professor" is an enchanting story about what it means to live in the present, and about the curious equations that can create a family."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780312427801
  • ISBN-10: 0312427808
  • Publisher: Picador USA
  • Publish Date: February 2009
  • Page Count: 180


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Psychological

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 40.
  • Review Date: 2008-11-17
  • Reviewer: Staff

Ogawa (The Diving Pool) weaves a poignant tale of beauty, heart and sorrow in her exquisite new novel. Narrated by the Housekeeper, the characters are known only as the Professor and Root, the Housekeeper’s 10-year-old son, nicknamed by the Professor because the shape of his hair and head remind the Professor of the square root symbol. A brilliant mathematician, the Professor was seriously injured in a car accident and his short-term memory only lasts for 80 minutes. He can remember his theorems and favorite baseball players, but the Housekeeper must reintroduce herself every morning, sometimes several times a day. The Professor, who adores Root, is able to connect with the child through baseball, and the Housekeeper learns how to work with him through the memory lapses until they can come together on common ground, at least for 80 minutes. In this gorgeous tale, Ogawa lifts the window shade to allow readers to observe the characters for a short while, then closes the shade. Snyder—who also translated Pool—brings a delicate and precise hand to the translation. (Feb.)

 
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