Ruth Ozeki was born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut, by an American father and a Japanese mother. She studied English and Asian Studies at Smith College. In June 2010 she was ordained as a Zen Buddhist priest. She divides her time between British Columbia and New York.
She is the author of three novels: My Year of Meats (1998),which won the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Award, the Imus/Barnes and Noble American Book Award, and a Special Jury Prize of the World Cookbook Awards in Versailles; All Over Creation (2002), the recipient of a 2004 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, as well as the Willa Literary Award for Contemporary Fiction; and A Tale for the Time Being (2013), longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2013.