Objects Jabber, Complain and Enlighten In Ruth Ozeki's 'The Book of Form and Emptiness'

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 (Danielle Tait)

"Please... be quiet!" That's the desperate plea that becomes a constant refrain for 13-year old Benny Oh, the protagonist of Ruth Ozeki's new novel "The Book of Form and Emptiness." After his beloved father dies, Benny starts literally to hear "things" - from the old lettuce that sighs from the refrigerator to the stapler that yaks away unbidden. Benny comes to find solace in a library and discovers "the Book" that will narrate his story. We talk to Ozeki about the novel and the Zen philosophy that informs it.


Ruth Ozeki, author, "The Book of Form and Emptiness;" professor of English language and literature, Smith College