Book Review- The Housekeeper and the Professor

The Housekeeper and the Professor - Yōko Ogawa, Stephen Snyder

The housekeeper and the professor is a simple, slice of life story written by Japanese writer Yoko Ogawa. The book details the strange relationship between a professor who has a strange memory problem, a housekeeper and her young son. The story is well crafted, poignant and short. The book is barely one hundred and twenty pages. 


The prose is clean, easy to understand and devoid of artifice. The story captures the life of normal people in modern Japan. I began to appreciate mathematics a bit more after reading the story. The protagonist of the story is a retired Mathematics professor. His sister in law pays for the housekeeper who comes to take care of him. The housekeeper's son, a young boy of seven also accompanies her. He develops a bond with the professor who teaches him mathematics. 


The professor and the housekeeper is a realistic tale that captures human dignity perfectly. The characters aren't spectacular by any standards yet they stand out due to their simplicity. The story makes you think. Since the story is short, there aren't any dramatic twists and turns. This is one book you can read with a sense of inner calm. 


I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read something different. The book is short, so try it out.