Convenience Store Woman

Convenience Store Woman


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802128256
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 06/12/2018
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 31,691
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.10(h) x 1.00(d)

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.

Read an Excerpt

My present self is formed almost completely of the people around me. I am currently made up of 30 percent Mrs. Izumi, 30 percent Sugawara, 20 percent the manager, and the rest absorbed from past colleagues such as Sasaki, who left six months ago, and Okasaki, who was our supervisor until a year ago.

My speech is especially inflected by everyone around me and is currently a mix of that of Mrs. Izumi and Sugawara. I think the same goes for most people. When some of Sugawara’s band members came into the store recently they all dressed and spoke just like her. After Mrs. Izumi came, Sasaki started sounding just like her when she said, “Good job, see you tomorrow!” Once a woman who had gotten on well with Mrs. Izumi at her previous store came to help out, and she dressed so much like Mrs. Izumi I almost mistook the two. And I probably infect others with the way I speak too. Infecting each other like this is how we maintain ourselves as human is what I think.

Outside work Mrs. Izumi is rather flashy, but she dresses the way normal women in their thirties do, so I take cues from the brand of shoes she wears and the label of the coats in her locker. Once she left her makeup bag lying around in the back room and I took a peek inside and made a note of the cosmetics she uses. People would notice if I copied her exactly, though, so what I do is read blogs by people who wear the same clothes she does and go for the other brands of clothes and kinds of shawls they talk about buying. Mrs. Izumi’s clothes, accessories, and hairstyles always strike me as the model of what a woman in her thirties should be wearing.

As we were chatting in the back room, her gaze suddenly fell on the ballet flats I was wearing. “Oh, those shoes are from that shop in Omotesando, aren’t they? I like that place too. I have some boots from there.” In the back room she speaks in a languid drawl, the end of her words slightly drawn out. I bought these flats after checking the brand name of the shoes she wears for work while she was in the toilet.

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Convenience Store Woman 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A look into the life and mind of a conscientious and lovable young woman
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received this book as an advance copy from NetGalley. This book is about a woman who is potentially a psychopath who finds that she is best able to imitate humanity by aligning her entire life with the convenience store she works in. This could have been a look at Japanese culture, psychopathy, what repetitive jobs do to people but instead it was an afterthought of a book that merely brushes at these topics without actually doing the exploration that books are supposed to do. I gave it 2 stars because it was a quick read and I got through it but I consider this book to be a load of wasted potential.
JuliW More than 1 year ago
Keiko has always felt different. She reacts to emotions, social situations and just life in general a little bit differently than anyone else. Since her early childhood, her family has tried to "fix'' her, lamenting Keiko's odd behaviors and habits. Keiko feels her job is one of the best things that ever happened to her. One day 18 years ago she found the convenience store and applied for a job there, and she's been letting what she learns there form her life and reactions to people ever since. She uses convenience store greetings, eats convenience store foods and lives a convenience store life. However, being past 30 and working what others see as a deadend, low job has her family once again looking down on her. Poor marriage, no children, no future. What are they going to do about Keiko? And what is Keiko going to do to appease them? This book is different and an absolutely enjoyable read. I love stories that are creative, different and not like anything I've read before. This story definitely surprised me, and kept me reading. Keiko is odd, but she learns how to deal with life, people and her family. She likes her job....but others keep telling her that her life isn't enough. She ponders how to solve the problem, and makes mistakes. It's very hard to pretend to be like everyone else when you aren't like them at all. I was afraid what the ending of this story might bring, but the ending was perfect. Convenience Store Woman is a lovely and bizarre story. Just like Keiko. Loved it! I'm glad this got translated from Japanese to English so I could enjoy the story! :) I hope they translate more of her books! **I voluntarily read an advance readers copy of this book from Grove Atlantic via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are completely my own.**
DressedToRead More than 1 year ago
An odd little book with quite eccentric characters Keiko is the quirky protagonist and she decides that working in a convenience store is both satisfying and provides her with a sense of belonging. She feels very "connected" to the store and its routines and mundane tasks. She doesn't mind this, she thrives and enjoys her job and is a hard worker. Her family constantly worries that she is "not normal." Society has certain "expectations" and she has chosen not to comply. There is a deeper message about life and the assumptions that all successful people are expected to follow, but Keiko isn't listening! This is a quiet story about acceptance and judgement. I enjoyed spending time with Keiko!
Emily Grace Acres More than 1 year ago
"So the manual for life already existed. It was just that it was already ingrained in everyone's heads, and there wasn't any need to put it in writing." Convenience Store Woman was a short, fast and sharp read following Keiko Furukura, a part-time convenience store worker in her mid-thirties. Furukura was always strange, even as a child she was finding herself in trouble for her bizarre and occasionally violent reactions. In college, what was supposed to be a casual job for extra cash ended up giving Furukura exactly what she needed: the tools to fit in. Through the convenience store worker's manual and the observation of the other employees Furukura became a working cog in society and can go about essentially unnoticed, which is exactly what she always wanted. The story starts 18 years after the fateful day she started work in the convenience store (and where she continues to work) and watches as she meets another societal misfit. I thought this was a beautiful ode to anyone that feels that they don't fit in or don't quite meet the standards set for them by society. Written in the clean, stark voice of Furukura, I thought the writing style perfectly matched the narrative and Furukura herself. Although occasionally repetitive, I was fascinated by her sharp observations and her take on what it means to be human from someone that feels like an outsider to the species. I quite enjoyed this short and witty little book, while it wasn't what I expected I was more than pleasantly surprised
BookandSword More than 1 year ago
3.5/5 stars One of my 2018 reading goals was to read more books by asian authors and about asian culture, so this book was perfect for that. I've seen Convenience Store Woman being compared to Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman and while I do see the resemblance, I don't necessarily agree with the comparison. Eleanor Oliphant was definitely a quirky character (my favorite kind) but I was able to relate to Eleanor on a deep emotional level, while Keiko from Convenience Store Woman felt very detached and unemotional, which I wasn't able to relate to, but enjoyed nonetheless. Both women follow the same thought process, but Convenience Store Woman definitely takes things to a more bizarre and at times, disturbing level. I absolutely loved the message this book was trying to relay, I just wasn't very keen on it's delivery. While I enjoyed the brisk and to the point writing style, it also felt incomplete at times - I wished to know just a little bit more, just few more details to be able to paint a complete picture. Maybe I wasn't able to emotionally identify with Keiko much, but the book did make me feel one emotion very strongly - I absolutely despised Shiraha. With every insult he spewed out of his filthy mouth I just wanted to set him on fire and see his skinny, dirty form writhe in pain. He definitely takes a gold for being the most infuriating, hypocritical character ever created! It's astonishing really, how in so little pages a character managed to be so horrid. This book does a phenomenal job painting the even day horrors of society - it is truly terrifying just how messed up we are. So, who is Keiko? Is she really broken and needs fixing, like her parents told her all of her life? Or is she the only one who sees things clear? Is she a waste of space or is she a workaholic who lives, breathes and eats her job? You will have to read to find out! Convenience Store Woman would be perfect for book clubs, school discussions and just any social event involving books. Because this short gem of a novel contains many lessons that need to be heard. Many thanks to Grove Atlantic, Sayaka Murata, and Netgalley for the copy. All opinions are my own, honest and come from the heart. Convenience Store Woman will be published on June 22, 2018.
alleenna More than 1 year ago
A quick read, even if weird, starring a woman who seems to have difficulties empathizing with other people and thus bahaving not like she feels, but like the society expects her to. She worked for most of her adult life, twenty years or so, as a convenience store clerk, and this is somehow VERY wrong (not sure I understand exactly why, like she’s not a parasite, living off the back of someone else – I get that it is plateaued and lacking any ambition, but it’s her life and I don’t really get why others are judging her SO HARSH); also, she finds herself in a very strange kind-of-relashionship with a man so much unlike her. I found her (diseased?) personality/character/nature quite interesting and I also thought some of her reactions highly hilarious, so the novel was a page turner, but I just couldn’t really relate to any situation or thought or – especially – with her relashionship, and it gets clearer and clearer to me that maybe I’m just not compatible with Japanese culture, or maybe Asian culture in general, as I find it hugely strange and most times uncomprehensible..