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ENG 3130 Topics in World Literature
Reading Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being
HPU Catalog Course Description
Students will explore issues raised by a variety of texts from both Western and non-Western
traditions, written in English as well translated into English. For English majors, this course fulfills
an Upper Division Foundational Course requirement.
Instructor’s Course Focus
It was March 2011--Ruth Ozeki was about to send her publishers her next novel when news of
the Tōhoku earthquake/tsunami appeared. With the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, she knew
that her novel could not remain untouched by the vast scale of human tragedy unfolding—so she
began writing a new story. We will examine how the 2013 novel addresses the complexity of
inter-relatedness, inter-generational memory and recursion, karmic consequences of hurting
others and the environment, and Zen Buddhist/Quantum Mechanics conceptions of time,
meaning and reality. Students will host a salon soiree, an open-mic session, and curate filmshowings for the class.
Taught by Professor Micheline Soong Tu/Th 9:10-10:35AM in MP 327
Pre-requisite: Any Written Communication & Information Literacy 1 course