Quotes by Yōko Ogawa

"Solving a problem for which you know there’s an answer is like climbing a mountain with a guide, along a trail someone else has laid. In mathematics, the truth is somewhere out there in a place no one knows, beyond all the beaten paths. And it’s not always at the top of the mountain. It might be in a crack on the smoothest cliff or somewhere deep in the valley."
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"Still, being alone doesn't mean you have to be miserable. In that sense it's different from losing something. You've still got yourself, even if you lose everything else. You've got to have faith in yourself and not get down just because you're on your own."
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"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"
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"A problem isn't finished just because you've found the right answer."
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"The Professor never really seemed to care whether we figured out the right answer to a problem. He preferred our wild, desperate guesses to silence, and he was even more delighted when those guesses led to new problems that took us beyond the original one. He had a special feeling for what he called the "correct miscalculation," for he believed that mistakes were often as revealing as the right answers."
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Books by Yōko Ogawa

  • The Memory Police
  • 35,143 ratings
  • August 13th 2019 by Pantheon Books

    (first published January 26th 1994)

  • はつ恋
  • 10,950 ratings
  • April 7th 2003 by Kadokawa Shoten

    (first published 1860)

  • Revenge
  • 9,892 ratings
  • January 29th 2013 by Picador

    (first published 1998)

  • Hotel Iris
  • 4,685 ratings
  • March 30th 2010 by Picador

    (first published 1996)

  • L'Annulaire
  • 703 ratings
  • June 3rd 1999 by Actes Sud

    (first published October 1994)

Yōko Ogawa
  • Yōko Ogawa

  • Date of birth: March 30, 1962
  • Born: in Okayama, Japan.

  • Description: Yōko Ogawa (小川 洋子) was born in Okayama, Okayama Prefecture, graduated from Waseda University, and lives in Ashiya. Since 1988, she has published more than twenty works of fiction and nonfiction. Her novel The Professor and his Beloved Equation has been made into a movie. In 2006 she co-authored „An Introduction to the World's Most Elegant Mathematics“ with Masahiko Fujiwara, a mathematician, as a dialogue on the extraordinary beauty of numbers.A film in French, „L'Annulaire“ (The Ringfinger), directed by Diane Bertrand, starring Olga Kurylenko and Marc Barbé, was released in France in June 2005 and subsequently made the rounds of the international film festivals; the film, some of which is filmed in the Hamburg docks, is based in part on Ogawa's „Kusuriyubi no hyōhon“ (薬指の標本), translated into French as „L'Annulaire“ (by Rose-Marie Makino-Fayolle who has translated numerous works by Ogawa, as well as works by Akira Yoshimura and by Ranpo Edogawa, into French).Kenzaburō Ōe has said, 'Yōko Ogawa is able to give expression to the most subtle workings of human psychology in prose that is gentle yet penetrating.' The subtlety in part lies in the fact that Ogawa's characters often seem not to know why they are doing what they are doing. She works by accumulation of detail, a technique that is perhaps more successful in her shorter works; the slow pace of development in the longer works requires something of a deus ex machina to end them. The reader is presented with an acute description of what the protagonists, mostly but not always female, observe and feel and their somewhat alienated self-observations, some of which is a reflection of Japanese society and especially women's roles within in it. The tone of her works varies, across the works and sometimes within the longer works, from the surreal, through the grotesque and the--sometimes grotesquely--humorous, to the psychologically ambiguous and even disturbing.

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