Convenience Store Woman
Author: Sayaka Murata | Translator: Tapley Takemori | Paperback
The surprise hit of the summer and winner of Japan's prestigious Akutagawa Prize, Convenience Store Woman is the incomparable story of Keiko Furukura, a thirty-six-year-old Tokyo resident who has been working at the Hiiromachi "Smile Mart" for the past eighteen years. Keiko has never fit in, neither in her family, nor in school, but in her convenience store, she is able to find peace and purpose with rules clearly delineated clearly by the store's manual, and copying her colleagues' dress, mannerisms, and speech. She plays the part of a "normal person" excellently--more or less. Keiko is very happy, but those close to her pressure her to find a husband and a proper career, prompting her to take desperate action.
A sharp-eyed look at contemporary work culture and the pressures we all feel to conform, Convenience Store Woman offers a brilliant depiction of a world hidden from view and a charming and fresh portrait of an unforgettable heroine.
Shortlisted for the Best Translated Book Award
Longlisted for the Believer Book Award
A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
Named a Best Book of the Year by the New Yorker, BuzzFeed, Boston Globe, Literary Hub, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Electric Literature, Library Journal, Shelf Awareness, WBUR, Hudson, Bustle, Chatelaine, and Globe and Mail
"In Sayaka Murata's Convenience Store Woman, a small, elegant and deadpan novel, a woman senses that society finds her strange, so she culls herself from the herd before anyone else can do it . . . Casts a fluorescent spell . . . A thrifty and offbeat exploration of what we must each leave behind to participate in the world."--Dwight Garner, New York Times
"Alienation gets deliciously perverse treatment in Convenience Store Woman . . . Murata herself spent years as a convenience store employee. And one pleasure of this book is her detailed portrait of how such a place actually works. Yet the book's true brilliance lies in Murata's way of subverting our expectations . . . With bracing good humor . . . Murata celebrate[s] the quiet heroism of women who accept the cost of being themselves."--John Powers, NPR "Fresh Air"
"Brilliant, witty, and sweet in ways that recall Amélie and Shopgirl. Keiko, a Tokyo woman in her 30s, finds her calling as a checkout girl at a national convenience store chain called Smile Mart: Quirky Keiko, who has never fit in, can finally pretend to be a normal person. Her story of conforming for convenience (literally) is one that woman all over the world know all too well, as is her family's pressure to get married and settle down, but Murata's sparkly writing and knack for odd, beautiful details are totally her own."--Vogue, "13 Books to Thrill, Entertain, and Sustain You This Summer"
"An exhilaratingly weird and funny Japanese novel about a long-term convenience store employee. Unsettling and totally unpredictable--my copy is now heavily underlined."--Sally Rooney, Guardian
"Sayaka Murata's brilliant Convenience Store Woman can be read as a meditation on the world of personal branding . . . It has been seen as a Gothic romance between a 'misfit and a store' and as a fictionalized account of how young people in Japan are increasingly giving up on sex, to name just two readings. It's a sign of excellent literature to be able to effortlessly hold up multiple interpretations at once. Murata's book is no exception: It's all of these things while also rendering an artful grotesque of modern personal branding."--The Millions
"Quirky, memorable . . . A neat and pleasing fable about the virtues and pleasures of conformity that could only be Japanese." --Times (UK)
Publisher: Grove Press | Pub Date: September 17, 2019 | Format: Paperback | Pages: 176 | Dimensions:0.7" H x 6.9" L x 5.0" W | 0.4 lbs