My Year of Meats
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Jane Takagi-Little, by trade a documentary filmmaker, by nature a truth seeker, is "racially half, " Japanese and American, and, as she tells us, "neither here nor there..." Jane is sharp-edged, desperate for a job, and determined not to fall in love again. Akiko Ueno, a young Japanese housewife, lives with her husband in a bleak high-rise apartment complex in a suburb of Tokyo. Akiko is so thin her bones hurt, and her husband, an ad agency salaryman who wants her to get pregnant, is insisting that she put some meat on them - literally. Ruth L. Ozeki's novel opens with two women on opposite sides of the globe, whose lives cannot be further apart. But when Jane gets a job, coordinating a television series whose mission is to bring the American heartland, and American meat, into the homes of Japan, she makes some wrenching discoveries - about love, meat, honor, and a hormone called DES. When Jane and Akiko's lives converge, what is revealed taps the deepest concerns of our time - how the past informs the present and how we live and love in this "blessed, ever-shrinking world."
Format/pages: paperback / 400 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books