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9780330490276

All Over Creation

Ozeki, Ruth L.

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9780330490276: All Over Creation

With a lifetime of careful nurturing of potatoes and seeds behind them, Lloyd Fuller and his Japanese wife, Momoko, have begun to feel the ravages of time. Their only daughter, Yumi, left home twenty-five years ago, and now they must attempt to consider the future of their precious yet fragile livelihood. Meanwhile a troupe of young revolutionaries are scouring the land in their faithful Winnebego, their eccentric, volatile lives focused on restoring farming practice to its basic beginnings and curbing genetic modification once and for all. As the 'Seeds of Resistance' come crashing into Fullers Farms so too does Yumi return to the fold, and the lives of Lloyd and Momoko are certain never to be the same again.

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The three clans at once enabling and torturing each other in Ruth Ozeki's All Over Creation--the central Fuller family, the neighboring Quinns, and the rag-tag activist found-family known as the "Seeds"--lift a basic morality play about forgiveness to a higher level. But what really gives All Over Creation its steam and sends it off in unexpected directions is the supporting story of modern mankind's crucial but tenuous connection to nature, set in this case on a potato farm in sleepy Idaho.

Lloyd Fuller and his war-bride wife Momoko struggle to make their massive farm thrive. Teenage daughter Yumi, on the other hand, has no trouble blooming. She's a wild child, but a series of bad decisions lead to a protracted estrangement from her puritanical father. When, years later, the adult Yumi reluctantly returns to the farm with her three children to care for her ailing parents, she must confront the wreckage she left behind (and the wreckage she's made of her own life), while forging an uneasy peace with childhood friend Cass Quinn. Before long, the Fullers and the Quinns must also confront the radical environmentalist Seeds, who are convinced that dying Lloyd and delusional Momoko hold the key to propagating plant life on earth--and sidetracking the schemes of evil corporations--through smart farming. And they may be right. The abundant children on hand reinforce this theme of proper husbandry; they are, like nature, both a tremendous gift and a daunting responsibility. And while not every character--Yumi in particular--is likable, Ozeki, whose first novel was the funny and polemical My Year of Meats, provokes empathy through plain old humanity. Indeed, her ability to make us care deeply about the fate of these strangers is the book's most abiding grace. The story's conclusion takes some convenient outs, but the ride to the end is touching and terrific, thanks to the author's spare but elegant prose and, especially, her kaleidoscopic cast. --Kim Hughes, Amazon.ca

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Advance Praise for Ruth Ozeki and All Over Creation:

"All Over Creation opens wider with every plot twist as it moves from tenderness to comedy to sobering truth and the whole world in the eye of one family's storm. This is Edward Abbey's Monkey Wrench Gang updated by thirty years, with modern environmental challenges on the map and women in the front seat, driving the story. Hooray, Ruth Ozeki rides again." -Barbara Kingsolver
author of The Poisonwood Bible

"Ruth Ozeki is bent on taking the novel into corners of American culture no one else has thought to look-but where she finds us in all our transcultural and technological weirdness. With a combination of humor and pathos that is all her own, All Over Creation brings the American pastoral forward into the age of agribusiness and genetic engineering. The result is a smart and compelling novel about a world we don't realize we live in."

-Michael Pollan
author of The Botany of Desire

"Ruth Ozeki is a writer of great passion and purpose. She fearlessly tackles big issues, stirs up revolutions, and unveils truths with keen insight and humor that touches our hearts and opens our minds." -Gail Tsukiyama
author of The Samurai's Garden

"All Over Creation is a wholly original novel of amazing richness, a tapestry of zany characters who follow their own hearts and passions. With a natural storyteller's ability to communicate both the hilarious and profound, Ozeki writes about love and sex, bioengineering and social responsibility, deftly communicating her uncanny feel for the texture of contemporary American life." -Paula Sharp
author of Crows Over a Wheatfield

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