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The Face (The Face #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  458 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
A groundbreaking new series from Restless Books: In original essays, a diverse group of writers will take readers on a guided tour of that most intimate terrain: their own faces.

Our inspiration for The Face comes from a passage by Jorge Luis Borges: “As the years go by, he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, i
ebook, First Edition
Published May 15th 2015 by Restless Books (first published May 2015)
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Mar 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
"2: 58: 36 And maybe here’s a bit of insight: My face is and isn’t me. It’s a nice face. It has lots of people in it. My parents, my grandparents, and their grandparents, all the way back through time and countless generations to my earliest ancestors— all those iterations are here in my face, along with all the people who’ve ever looked at me. And the light and shadows are here, too, the joys, anxieties, griefs, vanities, and laughter. The sun, the rain, the wind, the broom poles, and the iron ...more
Book Riot Community
I loved Ozeki’s Tale for the Time Being, and I also love genre-defying nonfiction, so of course I was going to pick this up. It’s a short book about … Ozeki’s face. She decides to spend three hours staring at her face in the mirror and writing about the experience. The three hours were — spoiler alert! — boring, but the resulting book most certainly is not. Descriptions of her feelings about her face are the jumping off point for personal stories and thoughts that are both charming and emotional ...more
Alex Thornber
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another stunning work from Ozeki; a memoir like nothing else I have seen before. It is hard to articulate what about this slim volume so entranced me. Ozeki's beautiful honesty about herself and what she sees in the mirror works brilliantly alongside the musings on Zen Buddhism and Japanese culture. A truly wonderful read.
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, my-read-books
To be honest, I had no idea what The Face: A Time Code was about when I started it. Knowing the author to be Ruth Ozeki was enough to get me excited. But in case you need some more information, The Face is about an experiment, where the author decided to stare at her own face for three hours straight and record the thoughts that came up during that time. I absolutely adored it, as I feel like I got to know my favorite author in a personal way and now I also see her novels in a whole new light. I ...more
This is a really quick collection of short essays by Ozeki, a Zen Buddhist priest, as she ritually looks at her face in a mirror for three hours. She records the thoughts that pass through her mind as she stares, but also writes small, related personal essays expanding on the subjects that come into her mind. She writes about such topics as Buddhism, her parents, growing up, and her identity.

This is thought-provoking despite its brevity. I would definitely recommend it to fans of her fiction, su
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Ozeki's 3-hour written meditation / essay is an outstanding piece of work. Like the other books in this series, the author uses "The Face" as the theme, and writes in their characteristic style. Ozeki is one of my favorite authors and this book underscores why. Highly recommended.
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shorts, non-fiction
Ruth Ozeki is one of my favourite authors, I was looking at her other books to see which one I should read next, and stumbled on this little non-fiction short. She tries a simple experiment: stares at her own face in the mirror for three continuous hours, and records all that she's thinking when doing so.

It sounds extremely prosaic, and in anyone else's hands, it'd become a pretentious oeuvre, but in Ozeki's voice it shapes up an earnest exploration about her ambiguous relationship with her fac
Deborah Feingold
This short memoir is not without its strong points. Ozeki writes with directness and empathy about her perceptions of herself as half Asian and half Caucasian especially through the eyes of her younger self. She also writes beautifully and metaphorically about the Noh masks. Do me of her other comments about her face, her looks, and her aging (for example about plastic surgery), however, are mundane or don't go far enough to combat stereotypes or help us learn not only about her, but about how w ...more
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As posted on Zezee with Books.

Quick overview:

A Time Code is the first in a series of books called The Face where a writer pens a short memoir about their face. Ruth Ozeki structures A Time Code using an observation method she found in “The Power of Patience,” an essay by Harvard professor of art history and architecture Jennifer L. Roberts.

In her essay, Roberts says she tries to teach her students immersive attention by sending them to a museum or gallery to spend three full hours observing a pi
Ioana Fotache
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shorts, favorites
I wish Ruth Ozeki would ask me to come over for some tea sometime.
I would sit there holding the warm, steaming cup, and just listen to her reminisce and talk about this and that, and I think the memory would stay with me forever.

Reading this book is probably as close as I can get to that experience.
Heidi Burkhart
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful little book. In order to fully appreciate Ozeki's narrative I beleive that one must be at least in their middle years to appreciate what she shares about her thoughts and emotions about her own changing face. The subtleties of faces, families and who we are based on what we see in the mirror is fascinating.
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Authentic mirror.
Beautiful reflections on age, identity, family ...
Sep 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: eng-major
while some parts were of interest to me, I found myself not becoming emotionally invested in the work as a whole
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 19, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a delightful little book and perfect as a subway read. I learned a lot from Ozeki and look forward to reading her other work. Definitely have zero desire to stare at my face for three hours, though.
Apr 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant! Such fabulous musings on race gender aging meditation and the self.
At times I was laughing out loud. So very intimate and personal and yet I was Relating to the author's insights and observations and drawing inspiration.
I really hope she will write and publish more books!!
Diana Raab
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The concept of this book is very creative! Ruth Ozeki is a Buddhist priest who decided to stare at her face for three hours without interruption. This lead to a number of ruminations, contemplations, and meditations about what she saw-past, present and future. Ozeki had a Caucasian father (Yale professor), and a Japanese mother. By staring at her face, Ozeki explored what can be learned about ancestry, the aging process and more. She concluded that her essence stems from the Zen teaching of impe ...more
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, buddhism, nonfic
A good friend recommended Ruth Ozeki's novel A Tale for the Time Being for my summer reading, and since I already had a much-much too long list, I wanted to investigate a little about the author to see if it would be worth bumping the novel up on my list.

And that's how I stumbled upon The Face: A Time Code, an extended essay-long memoir written after Ozeki challenged herself to sit before a mirror staring at her own face for three hours. The observations, musings and little celebrations are wort
Bill Brydon
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hera
"My face was a surface onto which people, especially men, projected their ideas of race and sexuality, Asian-ness and femininity, ideas that had little or nothing to do with me. I grew up wearing a mask on my face that I didn’t know was there, but over the years, of course, the mask shaped me. I turned fourteen in 1970. The image of Asian girls as exotic, ageless, child sex objects was still very much a part of the post-World War II, post-Korean War, post-Vietnam War culture in America. These As ...more
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Consideration of the face while allowing it to guide the mind through scenes and associations. These, toward a portrait of a life's relationship to its face, and how the mask is aged through knowledge and experience. Zen. Noh. A little girl whose identity causes the world around her to behave strangely. An older woman all too aware of how appearance will alter behavior toward her.

I rate it as I do because... I dont know. Something felt missing here. I still would recommend it, but not over othe
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddhism
I love Ozeki’s novels and have an interest in Zen. For me, the best parts of the book were the autobiographical details I gleaned from the text. I found it especially interesting that she is the daughter of an anthropologist as is Ursula LeGuin. This strikes me as fertile upbringing for a would-be author.

The Zenish part never moved or inspired me. For that, I would highly recommend A Tale for a Time Being.
Joao Tomas Castro Melo
What you see in your face.

This is not read as a normal book, but is more of a personal interview, that each one of us has with one self.
Can you see your father's eyes when you look in the mirror? What do they say?
This is a very short introduction to what it means to be human. It is only three hours long as a fiction, but maybe not even an hour and a half as something real and so very true. Brilliant prose, wonderful thoughts. Who are we?
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a great introduction to the series. I can't wait to read the others. I also quite enjoy Ozeki's writing style. I feel more inclined to read A Tale for the Time Being, which has been on my to-read list, after this. Her word choice and syntax make simple ideas sound profound. The pacing and arrangement of the different sections/topics make for a smooth, informative, and interesting read of this short memoir. I would recommend this to half-Asians and Asian diaspora (or diaspora in general).
Jul 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebk
An interesting short story about the author and her face, that became the vehicle to other stories old and new. I think that the more I read her, the more she becomes one of my favorite writer.

Una breve storia che parte dal viso dell'autrice, per arrivare a tante altre storie, alcune con argomento giapponese, vecchie e nuove. Più la leggo più mi piace.
Sep 01, 2017 rated it liked it
I read this in a proof version, as A Time Code, together with Cartography of the Void, Chris Abani, The Face, Tash Aw. These were excellently written memoirs/essays about faces from three different ethnic heritages.
Jun 30, 2017 rated it liked it
This is from a whole series of books of essays about the writers' own faces. I like this author so I picked hers. She writes a lot about her personal history, about Buddhism & masks, and all time-stamped as she goes through the exercise of looking at herself in the mirror for three hours.
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Can you imagine staring at your face for three hours? What would the exercise reveal? What would you notice? What would you accept or reject? In her usual way, Ozeki poses the questions in such a way that it leaves me, the reader, wondering what my reactions are to the same question.
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another beautiful book from Ozeki—a memoir like nothing else I have ever read. This slim volume captivated me. Ozeki's honesty about herself and the musings on Zen Buddhism and Japanese culture were wonderful. A grand read.
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fascinating perspective on our individual perceptions of identity. I found it enjoyable and thought provoking.
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Ruth Ozeki (born in New Haven, Connecticut) is a Japanese American novelist. She is the daughter of anthropologist Floyd Lounsbury.

Ozeki published her debut novel, My Year of Meats, in 1998. She followed up with All Over Creation in 2003. Her new novel, A Tale for the Time Being, was published on March 12, 2013.

She is married to Canadian land artist Oliver Kellhammer, and the couple divides their
More about Ruth Ozeki

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“We place such crazy importance on physical appearance in our image-obsessed culture, on youth and beauty to define our sense of self-worth, that aging, by default, becomes a kind of defect, something secret and corrosive and shameful.” 1 likes
“2:58:36 And maybe here’s a bit of insight: My face is and isn’t me. It’s a nice face. It has lots of people in it. My parents, my grandparents, and their grandparents, all the way back through time and countless generations to my earliest ancestors—all those iterations are here in my face, along with all the people who’ve ever looked at me. And the light and shadows are here, too, the joys, anxieties, griefs, vanities, and laughter. The sun, the rain, the wind, the broom poles, and the iron fences that have distressed my face with lines and scars and creases—all here.” 0 likes
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