The Book of Form and Emptiness
Winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction 2022.
A brilliantly inventive novel about loss, growing up and our relationship with things, by the Booker Prize-shortlisted author of A Tale for the Time Being.
After the tragic death of his father, fourteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house and sound variously pleasant, angry or sad. Then his mother develops a hoarding problem, and the voices grow more clamorous. When ignoring them doesn't work, Benny seeks refuge in the silence of a large public library. There he meets a mesmerising street artist with a smug pet ferret; a homeless philosopher-poet who encourages him to find his own voice amongst the many; and his very own Book, who narrates Benny's life and teaches him to listen to the things that truly matter.
Blending unforgettable characters with everything from jazz to climate change to our attachment to material possessions, this is classic Ruth Ozeki - bold, humane and heartbreaking.