The Housekeeper & the Professor – Yoko Ogawa

How important is memory? How can you live a life if your memory only lasts 80 minutes? The professor, a mathematics genius, was in an accident, his memories stop about 20 years earlier and his current memory lasts 80 minutes. The housekeeper, the 10th sent by the agency to take care of him is a young, uneducated woman with a 10 year old son. Together the three of them forge a relationship that somehow survives in spite of the limits of memory.

The Housekeeper and the Professor uses the language of mathematics, for it is the only thing the Professor truly understands, but the language of mathematics also explains human relationships and through it, the housekeeper and her son learn what is important in life – relationships.

This is a short novel, 180 pages, but beautifully written and it just pulls you into the story. I even appreciated some of the mathematics which was a shock. I loved this story and yet find it hard to express that, perhaps there’s a mathematical formula for that but I don’t know it, so I’ll just say, I loved it, it was a beautiful story.

~SK~

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