Housekeeper and the Professor
By Yoko Ogawa
(Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9780099521341)
Publication Date: March 2010
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the February 2009 Indie Next List
“Set in Japan, Yoko Ogawa's novel tells the story of a housekeeper and her son, and how they are drawn into the world of a brilliant professor of mathematics with severe memory impairment. A beautiful, tender novel.”
-- Lisa Stefanacci, The Book Works, Del Mar, CA
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Fall '09/Winter '10 Reading Group List
“A young, single mother is dispatched by her agency as the tenth housekeeper to try to meet the unusual demands of tending house for a mathematics professor who's suffered a serious brain injury. She not only manages to meet the challenge, but she discovers a beautiful new world for herself and her son through their unique relationship with this extraordinary man. A very tender and absolutely delightful story!”
-- Linda Findlay, University Book Store, Seattle, WA
He is a brilliant math professor, with a peculiar problem--since a traumatic head injury, he has lived with only 80 minutes of short-term memory. She is an astute young housekeeper with a 10-year-old son who is hired to care for the professor. Between them, a strange, beautiful relationship blossoms.
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
- The characters in The Housekeeper and the Professor are nameless (“Root” is only a nickname). What does it mean when an author chooses not to name the people in her book? How does that change your relationship to them as a reader? Are names that important?