Thursday, May 14, 2009

BOOK: The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa, 180 pages
translated by Stephen Snyder

herding cats; What's in a Name? profession; Orbis Terrarum: Japan; published in 2009

A never named housekeeper comes to work for a never named math professor. The professor had a head injury in a car accident many years before and only has eighty minutes of short term memory. The housekeeper and her son, nicknamed Root for his flat headed resemblance to the square root sign, form a little family with the professor.

This was a delightful little novel about families and what makes them, about being educated and life long learning, and a bit about math and baseball. I'm sure not everyone finds math a selling point as a topic, but I loved it. The professor falls back on math when he doesn't know what to do or say as it is the one area of his life that he knows, that he has some control over. Plus, we learn a little bit about prime numbers and perfect numbers and solving problems.

Librarything predicted I would love it, and it was bang on. Keep an eye out, I bought it at Costco, so it must have been mass published recently.

also reviewed by thoughts of joy, 3M at onemorecchapter,


  1. I really like the look of this book! I am not the biggest fan of math, but I like the fact that he falls back on math as a knowable quantity.

  2. This is a book and a writer I've not heard of before. And I love math and baseball, so I've got to read it. Thanks.

  3. I've had it on my wishlist ever since I saw Michelle's review. It hasn't been published here in the UK yet, but I'll keep an eye out for it when it is. I'm pleased to see everyone else loving it.

  4. Heard such wonderful things about this book - must get to it soon! Thanks for the great review!

    The Magic Lasso

  5. So glad you liked this and thanks for the shout out! :)

  6. I like math in my books for some crazy reason :) Glad you enjoyed this one!!

  7. The Housekeeper and the Professor has been selected as the Townwide Read at the Westport Public Library in Westport, CT, USA. Very exciting to have the whole town talking about the themes in this gem of a book.


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