Ruth Ozeki

Booksellers Sing Praises for Ruth Ozeki, Tash Aw, and Chris Abani's The Face

Our new series of personal nonfiction, The Face, has launched to applause! Alternately philosophical, funny, personal, political, and poetic, these short memoirs by Ruth OzekiChris Abani, and Tash Aw offer unique perspectives on race, culture, identity, and the human experience. Check out excerpts in of Tash Aw's book in The New Yorker, of Chris Abani's in Warscapes, and of Ruth Ozeki's on Literary Hub; reviews of all three books in The Minneapolis Star Tribune, Brown Girl Reading, and Kirkus; and an interview with Chris and Tash on the BBC Radio 4 Books Program. But best of all has been the bookstore love! Here's a sampling:

Keaton Patterson, Brazos Bookstore (Houston, TX):

“The first installments in Restless Books' new nonfiction series, THE FACE, are compact, penetrating essays exploring the intersection between the personal and the cultural. Ozeki, Abani and Aw put forth wildly divergent takes on the simple premise of "the face," in works that seamlessly blend memoir and criticism. Ultimately, what we have are highly concentrated ruminations on race, identity and history by some of the most astute literary minds from across the globe. THE FACE highlights the diversity and universality of what it means to be human. Profound stuff.”

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Tom Nissley, Phinney Books (Seattle, WA):

“Our front window this week is full of faces, in tribute to a new series started by Restless Books: beautiful, inexpensive little books on a subject we all share, but one that defines us most distinctly as individuals. Is your face a mask, or a revelation of your true self? Their first three writers, all novelists, touch on the physical facts of the faces they've been given by ancestry and time, and move to look to the people who gave them that identity: their parents, and their parents' parents, and the societies that look at those faces and make assumptions. There's a tight focus to the subject—you can put a book in your pocket and read it in an hour or two—but also a delicious looseness that comes from seeing where each writer takes the open-ended assignment. You'll find yourself looking at your own face in the mirror and seeing yourself, and others, anew.”

Jonathan Woollen, Politics and Prose (Washington, DC):

"Restless Books has orchestrated its coming-out party with the Face series. This ongoing collection of pocket memoirs holds a beautifully organic conversation on history at the most personal level through a guided tour of the author’s face.  In Ruth Ozeki’s we explore the creation and dispersal of self in Zen Buddhism and contemporary womanhood; in Chris Abani’s we find a complicatedly pithy look at the reach of a father-son relationship, and a confusing history of Chinese diaspora and global change in Tash Aw’s. With incoming entries from the likes of Roxane Gay and Lynne Tillman, the near future promises writing of equal openness and grace."