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Publisher's Summary

He is a brilliant math professor with a peculiar problem - ever 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. 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 80 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.
©2003 Yoko Ogawa. Translation Copyright 2009 by Stephen Snyder. (P)2013 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"Ogawa weaves a poignant tale of beauty, heart, and sorrow in her exquisite new novel." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Sara on 06-16-16

The Wonder Of Kindness & Connection

It is difficult to capture and convey the true essence of this magical novel in a review. The story revolves around and explores concepts of memory, mathematics and human connection. It is about acceptance and kindness. More than this, this gentle story reminds the reader that life is an opportunity for celebration. It's about finding meaning in small things, seeing with new eyes and learning concepts you thought you might never understand.

The book was expertly narrated by Cassandra Campbell who was deftly able to capture the subtle nuances of the writing. Her timing and use of pauses, inflection and quietness were perfect.

To me, this was a beautifully written, insightful and compelling novel. At times sad, but filled with possibility and hope. I loved it.

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37 of 41 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By AM on 08-28-13

For the joy of a story

Another reviewer said it well, this story won't be made into a blockbuster movie HOWEVER if you simply want to be captivated by a story, this may be a tale you will love. There are hints of heartbreak but the story isn't about romantic love, it's about the formation of unlikely friendships and how "family" doesn't mean the same thing to everyone. If you ever wanted to truly understand what it means to live in the present, this book will give you a vibrant example.

In short, this story was a respite from busy-ness (misspelling intentional) and a joy.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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