The Housekeeper and the Professor

  • by Yoko Ogawa
  • Narrated by Cassandra Campbell
  • 5 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


What the Critics Say

"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

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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- sara "Avid reader/listener/reviewer"

This is a Gem! Well worth a Listen.

An unexpected delight! A thoughtful story about a young housekeeper who goes to work for a medically retired mathematics professor whose short-term memory only lasts 80 minutes. Everyday she comes to work is the first time her employer has met her. Intelligent and sensitive, but not highly educated, the housekeeper comes to learn about his quirks and shortcomings, and develops a great appreciation for his intelligence and love of prime numbers. Her esteem for him only increases when he lovingly showers attention on her 10 year old son.

Along the way, the listener learns about number theory, baseball in Japan, the struggles of a single mother, and how one man's remarkable intelligence and sensitivity have survived a terrible accident. Told from the first person perspective of the housekeeper, this book is warm, honest, and interesting, with no sentimentality. The narration is perfect and Campbell does a great job of giving voice to the young housekeeper.
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- Dr.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-15-2013
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio