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review 2016-03-08 23:33
A Beautiful Tale About Baseball, Memory, Mathematics, and Friendship
The Housekeeper and the Professor - Yōko Ogawa,Stephen Snyder

The Professor, a brilliant mathematician (who is unnamed),  only has eighty minutes of short term memory, due to a traumatic head injury.


The Housekeeper assigned to the Professor (also unnamed), is young, astute, and has a ten year old son (nicknamed Root).


Each morning, as the Professor and Housekeeper are re-introduced to eachother, an unlikely friendship starts to bloom between them, as well as, between the Professor and Root.


From here the story unfolds in a very ordinary/extraordinary way. The Professor gives the Housekeeper and Root the only gift he knows how to give, the poetry of mathematics, and in return they give the Professor love.


Baseball is the common thread that connects the two stories, but these moments are written in such exceptional prose, it all flows together wonderfully.


All in all, a deceptively short book that pitches an emotional response. I will be reading more by Yoko Ogawa in the future. I leave you with my favorite quote:


"Among the many things that made the Professor an excellent teacher was the fact that he wasn't afraid to say: 'we don't know.' For the Professor, there was no shame in admitting you didn't have the answer, it was a necessary step toward the truth. It was as important to teach us about the unknown or the unknowable as it was to teach us what had already been safely proven."





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review 2016-02-21 11:00
Eighty-Minute Memory: The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yōko Ogawa
Das Geheimnis der Eulerschen Formel - Yōko Ogawa,Sabine Mangold
The Housekeeper + The Professor - Yōko Ogawa,Stephen Snyder

The story of The Housekeeper and the Professor is that of the two characters already mentioned in the title plus the housekeeper’s ten-year-old son and the poetry of mathematics.


It begins in March 1992 when the narrator takes up her job as the professor’s housekeeper in a shabby back yard garden pavilion. The professor used to be a renowned mathematician until a car accident in 1975 left him with an eighty-minute memory. The housekeeper is intrigued by the professor’s capacity to see figures of everyday life in a mathematical light. One day she mentions her ten-year-old son and he insists that the boy comes to the pavilion after school to be in his mother’s care. It is the beginning of a strange friendship held together by the beauty of mathematics and the love for baseball.


For the full review please click here to go to my blog Edith’s Miscellany.


The Housekeeper + The Professor - Yōko Ogawa,Stephen Snyder 

Source: edith-lagraziana.blogspot.com
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text 2016-02-18 13:00
Cover Crush: The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

 Because no matter the book's summary blurb, author, or marketing, there's no doubt that many of us are drawn in by a pretty cover.  And the great ones are hard not to notice.  I'm admittedly not immune to wonderfully crafted book covers and have fallen prey to them time and time again.


Cover Crush is a feature originally thought up by Erin at Flashlight Commentary.  Every Thursday, she publishes a post featuring a book jacket/book cover that she really likes with a short commentary about it.  I discovered this weekly feature via It's a Mad Mad World here at Booklikes and decided to join in the fun!




I flip-flopped for the longest time before finally deciding which of my favorite covers to show case for my first Cover Crush post.  So here it is:



The cover for The Housekeeper and the Professor was always a personal favorite, ever since the day I walked by it in a store and just had to stop and look.  If there's a cover that definitely drew my attention out of the blue, this one would have been one of the best representatives.


The image gives me a sense of beauty and simplicity, even with all the complicated math equations and symbols floating around in the background--which, in a way, kind of reminds me of the professor in this book.  Math has become his life and the only grasp he has to reality and the only way he knows how to relate with anyone at all, ever since an accident left him with the short term memory of 80 minutes before everything starts over for him.


It's a beautifully sweet and simple story.  And this is a very beautifully sweet and simple cover illustration.



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review 2015-10-18 14:53
Book Review- The Housekeeper and the Professor
The Housekeeper and the Professor - Yōko Ogawa,Stephen Snyder

The housekeeper and the professor is a simple, slice of life story written by Japanese writer Yoko Ogawa. The book details the strange relationship between a professor who has a strange memory problem, a housekeeper and her young son. The story is well crafted, poignant and short. The book is barely one hundred and twenty pages. 


The prose is clean, easy to understand and devoid of artifice. The story captures the life of normal people in modern Japan. I began to appreciate mathematics a bit more after reading the story. The protagonist of the story is a retired Mathematics professor. His sister in law pays for the housekeeper who comes to take care of him. The housekeeper's son, a young boy of seven also accompanies her. He develops a bond with the professor who teaches him mathematics. 


The professor and the housekeeper is a realistic tale that captures human dignity perfectly. The characters aren't spectacular by any standards yet they stand out due to their simplicity. The story makes you think. Since the story is short, there aren't any dramatic twists and turns. This is one book you can read with a sense of inner calm. 


I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read something different. The book is short, so try it out. 

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review 2015-03-06 00:00
The Housekeeper and the Professor
The Housekeeper and the Professor - Yōko Ogawa,Stephen Snyder A beautiful story that is at once simple yet deep and thought provoking. The translation amazes me, honestly. Many times I've read a Japanese-to-English novel translation that felt stilted, empty of prose, with remnants of Japanese sentence structure awkwardly lurking in the passages. This book is translated so perfectly that you would never tell it was originally written in a vastly different language.
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