HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko…
Loading...

The Housekeeper and the Professor (edition 2009)

by Yoko Ogawa

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,9231693,559 (3.96)343
Member:deb80
Title:The Housekeeper and the Professor
Authors:Yoko Ogawa
Info:Picador (2009), Edition: Original, Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library, Books Read 2012
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, japan

Work details

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

  1. 70
    The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (labfs39, chrisharpe)
    labfs39: Both have incredibly well-drawn, quirky characters that are lovable in their unique humaness. Both have highly intelligent characters that are vulnerable because of their very gift. In both books I learned things in fields not particularly close to me: math in Housekeeper and philosophy in Elegance.… (more)
  2. 10
    A Beautiful Mind: The Life of Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash by Sylvia Nasar (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  3. 00
    The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano (DetailMuse)
  4. 00
    Translucent Tree by Nobuko Takagi (marietherese)
  5. 00
    Naoko: A Novel by Keigo Higashino (sjmccreary)
    sjmccreary: Also shows an ordinary Japanese family dealing privately with an extraordinary situation. No baseball or math, but lots of great descriptions of Japanese life.
  6. 02
    The History of Love: A Novel by Nicole Krauss (Becchanalia)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 343 mentions

English (159)  Spanish (4)  French (2)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  Japanese (1)  All (169)
Showing 1-5 of 159 (next | show all)
Oh, I loved this gentle little book, and could hardly put it down. A young single mother goes to work as a housekeeper for a professor who has gone through nine other housekeepers before her. The professor is a brilliant mathematician, but since a traumatic brain injury years ago, retains only 80 minutes of new memory. The professor's daily life is bewildering and frightening. His suit is covered with notes he has written to himself of things he will need to remember, the most important of which is "My memory only lasts 80 minutes." The housekeeper is determined to care for him, despite the unusual circumstances. Uncomfortable with anyone new (which is everyone he has met since his accident), he relates to people through numbers (What is your birthday? Your phone number? Your weight at birth?), and shares elegant and fascinating information about the math of those numbers. The housekeeper, who dropped out of high school to have her son, is daunted by the math until she realizes that the professor's greatest joy is sharing his knowledge and his patient teaching. When the professor discovers that she has a young son, he insists he come there after school. He becomes the boy's champion and teacher, and the boy becomes his greatest and only friend.

The book is sweet, touching, and lovely. Junot Diaz writes in a cover blurb "I've been telling everyone about this book. It's a story about love, which is quite different from a love story. It's one of the most beautiful novels." It is so beautiful. A loving examination of love and family and math. Highly recommended.
1 vote AMQS | Feb 21, 2017 |
This is a gently, lyrics story that deals with memory, family, and what makes a good life. With only an 80 minute window of memory, the Professor is stuck in a loop of uncertainty. He clings to his numbers, his beautiful mathematics, for security. The Housekeeper, a woman whose life is closed and colorless, learns from him about a wider place for the soul, and his relationship with her son opens the world for both the Professor and the boy. The math, woven like a scarlet thread through the story, adds an interesting tone to the narrative.
While I enjoyed this book, it didn’t strike me as deep as others, or perhaps, as I expected. It is a good story: gentle, pleasing, peaceful. It’s an excellent read for a quiet rainy day, with a cup of tea at your side. But I did not find the magic of the narrative that others described. Worth reading, even so. ( )
  empress8411 | Jan 19, 2017 |
Excellent read. The Professor taught mathematics at university but had a car accident that left him with a short-term memory of 80 minutes. He could remember the past but not the present. He has gone through a variety of housekeepers. One is hired and she stays. When the professor finds out she has a son, he has her bring the boy with her. A relationship is forged between them.

I enjoyed how the housekeeper learns math so that she can understand what the professor is talking about. She learns that the math has a larger range on life and through it she learns to understand the professor. Her son and the professor connect over homework and baseball. I liked how the math, baseball, and life converged around the three of them. Even after the job ends, the housekeeper keeps involved in the professor's life as did her son.

This is a book that stays with you after you close the pages. Unfortunately, I have to return it to the library. ( )
  Sheila1957 | Dec 31, 2016 |
3.5 stars

A housekeeper is assigned to work in the house of a former mathematics professor; that professor had an accident in 1975, though, and although he remembers everything from before that time, any new memories last only 80 minutes. However, they strike up a friendship, along with the housekeeper’s son. The professor teaches the two about the wonders of numbers and math and they find another common ground in baseball.

I enjoyed this. Sometimes the math was a bit too much, and I suspect I would have enjoyed it more if I also liked baseball a bit more, but I liked the relationships that developed in the story. ( )
  LibraryCin | Oct 21, 2016 |
This book was really sweet. (And this review is probably more like 3.5 stars, but anyway.)

It was a really quick read for me and I did enjoy it. If you like plot-heavy books, don't go for this book. Japanese literature in general is often very slow and descriptive and can almost feel repetitive, but for some authors that's just their writing style.

The characters were all lovely, I loved all the references and passages about baseball which is a huge part of Japanese culture, and the translation was solid.

If you're new to Japanese literature and you just want something that's easy to read - this might be a good place to start.

Bring on the next novel for Japanese June. https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/12046788-japanese-june-2015-readathon (And you can find the topic here!) c: ( )
  lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 159 (next | show all)
Den mycket uppskattade japanska författaren Yoko Ogawa introduceras på svenska med en riktig hjärteknipare. Annat brukar det sällan bli när gamla, sjuka gubbar sammanförs med barn.
added by Jannes | editDagens Nyheter, Jonas Thente (Jan 18, 2011)
 
The narrator in Ogawa's mysterious, suspenseful, and radiant fable, the youngest housekeeper at the agency, knows that her new client will be a challenge: nine housekeepers have already been fired. But when she meets the Professor in his small cottage, she is intrigued instead of wary. A brilliant mathematician, he lives a surreal life. The elderly Professor can't remember anything after 1975. He can absorb new information and new experiences for 80 minutes at a stretch, then it is erased, and he has to start over. Quiet and kind, his jacket festooned with scraps of paper on which he writes notes to remind himself of what he always forgets, he spends his puzzling days solving highly advanced math problems and winning national contests. At long last, he has the perfect companions. The smart and resourceful housekeeper, the single mother of a baseball-crazy 10-year-old boy the Professor adores, falls under the spell of the beautiful mathematical phenomena the Professor elucidates, as will the reader, and the three create an indivisible formula for love
added by kthomp25 | editBooklist, Donna Seaman
 

» Add other authors (39 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Yoko Ogawaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Snyder, StephenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
We called him the Professor.
Quotations
No matter how much time passed, I was always the young woman who made painfully slow progress with numbers, and my son would always be the boy who simply appeared, and was embraced.
I'm not sure why I became so absorbed in a child's math problem with no practical value. At first, I was conscious of wanting to please the Professor, but gradually that feeling faded and I realized it had become a battle between the problem and me. . . . At first, it was just a small distraction, but it quickly became an obsession. Only a few people know the mystery concealed in this formula, and the rest of us go to our graves without even suspecting there is a secret to be revealed.
But those things aren't the goal of mathematics. The only goal is to discover the truth. The Professor always said the word truth in the same tone as the word mathematics.
After all these years, I'm still at a loss for words to describe how purely the Professor loved children – except to say that it was as unchangeable and true as Euler's formula itself.
He treated Root exactly as he treated prime numbers. For him, primes were the base on which all other natural numbers relied; and children were the foundation of everything worthwhile in the adult world.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Blurbers
Publisher series
Information from the Japanese Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
There is actually a Japanese movie Hakase no Aishita Sushiki / The Professor and His Beloved Equation, that may be inspired by this novel.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312427808, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:18 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

He is a brilliant math professor, with a peculiar problem--since a traumatic head injury, he has lived with only 80 minutes of short-term memory. She is an astute young housekeeper with a 10-year-old son who is hired to care for the professor. Between them, a strange, beautiful relationship blossoms.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
279 wanted
5 pay3 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.96)
0.5
1 1
1.5 1
2 25
2.5 10
3 101
3.5 68
4 278
4.5 59
5 148

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alumn

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa was made available through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Sign up to possibly get pre-publication copies of books.

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 112,510,418 books! | Top bar: Always visible