Hunter College, CUNY
Asian American Studies Program


Hybrid Vigor: A Conversation with
Ruth Ozeki about Fertile Mixes in
Literature, Race, and Politics

Date: Wednesday, March 12, 2008     Time: 1:30PM to 3:00PM

Place: Hunter College, CUNY
695 Park Avenue, Manhattan
Hunter North 11106 (11th Floor of Hunter North)




Please join the Hunter College Asian American Studies Program (AASP) at our upcoming event on Wednesday, March 12th: a reading and lively discussion with award-winning Asian American novelist and filmmaker Ruth Ozeki.

Refreshments will be served.

It starts with the earth. How can it not? Imagine the planet like a split peach, whose pit forms the core, whose flesh its mantle, and whose fuzzy skin its crust - no, that doesn't do justice to the crust, which is, after all, where all of life takes place. The earth's crust must be more like the rind of the orange, thicker and more durable, quite unlike the thin skin of a bruisable peach. Or is it? Funny, how you never think to wonder. - from ALL OVER CREATION by Ruth Ozeki

New York Times Notable Book
Winner of a 2004 American Book Award
from the Before Columbus Foundation
and the Willa Literary Award for Contemporary Fiction

RUTH OZEKI is an award-winning filmmaker and novelist, whose work has been characterized by USA Today as "ardent and passionate...rare and provocative." Her first novel, My Year of Meats, was published in 1998 by Viking Penguin and has garnered widespread glowing reviews and awards. My Year of Meats was an international success, translated into eleven languages and published in fourteen countries. It won the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Award, the Imus/Barnes and Noble American Book Award, and a Special Jury Prize of the World Cookbook Awards in Versailles. Ozeki's second novel, All Over Creation (Viking Penguin, 2003) shifts the focus from meat to potatoes in a story of a family farmer, his prodigal daughter, an itinerant gang of environmental activists, and a New Age corporate spin doctor, whose lives and interests collide in Liberty Falls, Idaho. In a starred review, Kirkus called this cast of characters "most fully realized and heart-wrenching in their imperfect yearnings," and declared All Over Creation, "a feast for mind and heart."

Ozeki was born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut, by an American father and a Japanese mother. She studied English and Asian Studies at Smith College and traveled extensively in Asia. She received a Japanese Ministry of Education Fellowship to do graduate work in classical Japanese literature at Nara University. During her years in Japan, she worked in Kyoto's entertainment or "water" district as a bar hostess, studied flower arrangement as well as Noh drama and mask carving, founded a language school, and taught in the English Department at Kyoto Sangyo University.

Ozeki returned to New York in 1985 and began a film career as an art director, designing sets and props for low budget horror movies. She switched to television production, and after several years directing documentary-style programs for a Japanese company, she started making her own films. Body of Correspondence (1994) won the New Visions Award at the San Francisco Film Festival and was aired on PBS. Halving the Bones (1995), an award-winning autobiographical film, tells the story of Ozeki's journey as she brings her grandmother's remains home from Japan. It has been screened at the Sundance Film Festival, the Museum of Modern Art, the Montreal World Film Festival, and the Margaret Mead Film Festival, among others. Ozeki's films, now in educational distribution, are shown at universities, museums and arts venues around the world.

Ozeki, a frequent speaker on college and university campuses, currently divides her time between New York City, where she serves on the board of Women Make Movies, and British Columbia, where she writes, knits socks, and raises exotic Chinese chickens with her husband, artist, Oliver Kellhammer.


For more information, contact the AASP Program Coordinator:





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