Convenience Store Woman Paperback – 5 Jul 2018
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'Unapologetically deadpan yet enticingly comic... it's the novel's cumulative, idiosyncratic poetry that lingers, attaining a weird, fluorescent kind of beauty all of its own... Irresistible'--Observer
'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
'Convenience Store Woman is a gem of a book. Quirky, deadpan, poignant, and quietly profound, it is a gift to anyone who has ever felt at odds with the world - and if we were truly being honest, I suspect that would be most of 'us'' -- Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being
'Witty, wily, and astonishingly sharp, Convenience Store Woman proves that the deepest gouges can come from the lightest touch.'-- Lisa McInerney, author of The Glorious Heresies
'Convenience Store Woman is snarky and tender. It shows a woman trying to puzzle out how to be normal. This brilliant book will resonate with all of us who find life a little strange.'-- --Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of Harmless Like You
'This novel made me laugh. It was the first time for me to laugh in this way: it was absurd, comical, cute... audacious, and precise. It was overwhelming'--Hiromi Kawakami, author of Strange Weather in Tokyo
'I picked up this novel on a trip to Japan and couldn't put it down. A haunting, dark, and often hilarious take on society's expectations of the single woman.'-- --Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot
'A neat and pleasing fable that could only be Japanese... quirky, memorable'--Sunday Times
'A sure-fire hit of the summer... quirky [and] profound... This is a story that readers could easily stay with all over again'--Irish Times
'[A] short, deadpan gem... This is a true original'--Daily Mail
'Delightfully weird, incredibly funny' ----Books of the Year, Refinery 29
About the Author
One of the most celebrated of the new generation of Japanese writers, Sayaka Murata has won not only the prestigious Akutagawa Prize, but the Gunzo, Noma, and Mishima Yukio Prizes as well. Her story, 'A Clean Marriage', was featured in Granta 127 Japan. She is 36-years-old and works part-time in a convenience store. Ginny Tapley Takemori has translated Ryu Murakami, Miyabe Miyuki, Akiyuki Nosaka, and Kyotaro Nishimura, among others. Her translation of Tomiko Inui's The Secret of the Blue Glass was shortlisted for the Marsh Award.
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My favourite observation of the book is that people love to make up their own narratives of other peoples' lives, and often don't even realise they are doing it.
The book, like the protagonist, is simple and unusual, and draws on the pleasures of minutiae without being overly dull.
The translation has been well done and the tone of the writing retains echoes the unselfconscious narrator. A straightforward plot which won't confuse or bewilder, meaning that the reader can just enjoy the ride and the gradual character revelation.
It's pretty short, so would make a good book on your commute, weekend away, or just a lazy armchair read on a rainy day.
If you like indie movies, you'll probably like this.
Initially I found the character's voice did not appear to match the character being described, but then later in the book I found that the choice of voice served the purpose of the book (as I saw it by the time I finished).