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The Housekeeper and the Professor

Ogawa, Yōko (Book - 2009)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Housekeeper and the Professor
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He is a brilliant math Professor with a peculiar problem-ever since a traumatic head injury, he has lived with only eighty minutes of short-term memory. She is an astute young Housekeeper-with a ten-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 eighty 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.
Authors: Ogawa, Yōko, 1962-
Title: The housekeeper and the professor
Publisher: New York : Picador, 2009
Edition: 1st Picador ed
Characteristics: 180 p. ;,21 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Yoko Ogawa ; translated by Stephen Snyder
Notes: "This novel was originally published in Japan by Shinchosha under the title Hakase"--T.p. verso
Additional Contributors: Snyder, Stephen 1957-
ISBN: 0312427808
9780312427801
Branch Call Number: FICTION OGAWA 2009
Subject Headings: Man-woman relationships Fiction Short-term memory Fiction
Topical Term: Man-woman relationships
Short-term memory
LCCN: 2006041568
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A woman takes a position as housekeeper to a brilliant professor who cannot remember anything for longer than eighty minutes.

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.

He is a brilliant math Professor with a peculiar problem-ever since a traumatic head injury, he has lived with only eighty minutes of short-term memory. She is an astute young Housekeeper-with a ten-year-old son-who is hired to care for the Professor. And every morning, as the Professor and the... Read More »

He is a brilliant math Professor with a peculiar problem-ever since a traumatic head injury, he has lived with only eighty minutes of short-term memory. She is an astute young Housekeeper-with a ten-year-old son-who is hired to care for the Professor. And every morning, as the Professor and the H... Read More »


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Jul 28, 2012
  • cynthiaw54 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is a really charming book -- if you enjoyed Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog, you'll like this. Ogawa examines the very foundation of human relationships. The Professor in the story has to start from scratch every day because of his very real memory loss. What if we could all start from scratch with each other every day? How much could we forgive and accept, and how deeply could we love? The Professor's penchant for finding numbers in ordinary facts, and meaning in numbers, lends an approach of mystical awe to everyday life. What starts out as a frustrating assignment for the Housekeeper blossoms into a deep friendship and a renewed appreciation of life.

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