Convenience Store Woman (Paperback)

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Northshire Manchester
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Staff Reviews


Rebels tend to be outlandish, extroverted, opinionated, and brassy. 36-year old Tokyo resident Keiko Furukura, working half her life in a convenience store, defies expectations, spurns relationships, irritates her family, ignores social pressures, and inadvertently, and joyously, flips rebellion on its head. — Mike Hare

Mike was right. I loved this quirky short novel from Sayaka Murata, a much needed new voice in contemporary Japanese fiction. What is a convenience store worker? What is a human being? Murata's protagonist, Keiko Furukura, wonders if the two are not actually mutually exclusive. I read this in one sitting, so did Mike. Short. Profound. You just might have trouble putting it down too. — Josh Cohen-Peyton

A refreshing take on questioning society's expectations and understanding what it means to be content with what one already has. Although most readers will not assume that they can empathize with the unusual main character, Murata finds a way to make you realize that you're not so different from the convenience store woman after all. — Laura Knapp

June 2018 Indie Next List


“Keiko Furukura has worked at her local convenience store for 18 years. Every day, she ensures that the shelves are tidy, the hot food bar is stocked, and the featured items are adequately displayed. She greets every customer with a cheerful ‘Irasshaimase!’ and no one notices that she’s never fit in anywhere else. Murata draws lush descriptions of the beauty of order and routine out of simple, spare prose, and every page crackles with the life she’s created. Because of the humor, the wit, the almost unbearable loveliness of it all, Convenience Store Woman, a small book about a quiet life, makes an enormous impact on the reader.”
— Lauren Peugh, Powell's Books, Portland, OR

Winter 2019 Reading Group Indie Next List


“Rebels tend to be outlandish, extroverted, opinionated, and brassy. Thirty-six-year-old Tokyo resident Keiko Furukura, working half her life in a convenience store, defies expectations, spurns relationships, irritates her family, ignores social pressures, and inadvertently—and joyously—flips rebellion on its head.”
— Mike Hare, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT

Description


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.

About the Author


Sayaka Murata is the author of many books, including Convenience Store Woman, winner of Japan's most prestigious literary award, the Akutagawa Prize. She used to work part-time in a convenience store, which inspired this novel. Murata has been named a Freeman's "Future of New Writing" author, and her work has appeared in Granta and elsewhere. In 2016, Vogue Japan selected her as a Woman of the Year. Ginny Tapley Takemori has translated works by more than a dozen Japanese writers, including Ryū Murakami. She lives at the foot of a mountain in Eastern Japan.


Product Details
ISBN: 9780802129628
ISBN-10: 0802129625
Publisher: Grove Press
Publication Date: September 17th, 2019
Pages: 176
Language: English
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