The Humanities and the Professions Reading and Discussion Group was formed following NCG's 1987 Annual Meeting which used great literary texts to examine complex social and moral dilemmas. NCG book club members meet approximately four times a year for a facilitated discussion and the opportunity to engage with one another through a shared love of literature.
Yes, A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
"Ruth Ozeki opens her third novel, "A Tale for the Time Being," with a small deception — or, more accurately, a sleight of hand. Forgoing context or explanation, she plunges us into the diary of a 16-year-old Japanese girl named Nao. The language is excitable, breathless even: "[I]f you decide to read on," Nao exclaims, "then guess what? You're my kind of time being and together we'll make magic!"
Yet just as we start to wonder what we're getting into, Ozeki flips the whole thing around. There is a section break, and when Nao returns, she is tougher, far more pointed. "Ugh," she sniffs. "That was dumb. I'll have to do better. I bet you're wondering what kind of stupid girl would write words like that."
The point, of course, is that we are all more than one person, one perspective, that identity is in a constant state of flux. But even more, Ozeki's move telegraphs that the book is going to play with our preconceptions, that it will shift on us, turn on us, that it will be as difficult to pin down as a wisp of smoke.
All of that is true of "A Tale for the Time Being," which is why (let's not be coy) it's such an exquisite novel: funny, tragic, hard-edged and ethereal at once."—LA Times
Who Can Attend
Attendance is restricted to NCG members, with a maximum capacity of 10 members per session. Please call Member Services at 415.777.4111 ext 22 for additional information.
Register Now—Space is Limited!
Book Group fees are available at an annual or drop–in rate. The annual fee allows a member to attend five book club sessions per year with an option for a sixth session at the discretion of the group. Members are also invited to attend a single session at the drop-in rate.
Fee includes professional facilitator and complementary beverages. Participants are encouraged to bring their own brown bag lunch.
Annual Member Fee: $75
Drop-In Fee: $20
NCG accepts major credit cards, checks and PayPal.