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Convenience Store Woman: The multi-million copy, international bestseller Kindle Edition
Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
'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 --This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
Sayaka Murata is one of Japan's most exciting contemporary writers. She herself still works part time in a convenience store, which was the inspiration to write Convenience Store Woman, her English-language debut and winner of one of Japan's most prestigious literary prizes, the Akutagawa Prize. Her work has appeared in Freeman's, Granta, and elsewhere.--This text refers to the mp3_cd edition.
- ASIN : B07FCNMW2N
- Publisher : Granta Books (5 July 2018)
- Language : English
- File size : 214 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 89 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #6,527 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from India
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1) Obtain a “respectable” qualification by a certain age.
2) Get a “good” job, earn a decent income. Reach a certain level in your organization, within a certain time.
3) Marry a “suitable” boy, earning a decent income, by a certain age – Very Important requirement.
4) Have a certain number of children, by a certain age – Very Important requirement
5) Own your own house with a pre-defined period
Well, the list goes on and on. Society, relatives, neighbours, friends have pre-conceived notions of what is “right” for a woman. But…what happens when you don’t abide by society’s norms? What if you take your own sweet time to get married? If your job/career is not considered “good” enough, and your salary doesn’t meet society’s exacting standards? What if you exceed the “acceptable” age limit to bear a child – or (gasp!) you decide you don’t want a child at all? What if (super gasp!) your sexual orientation is different? Ahhh – then it is rightfully everyone’s business, isn’t it, and it is everyone’s duty to give advice/guidance to the woman, to point out what is right!
“Convenience Store Woman” is about Keiko Furukura, who has always been considered to be somewhat odd, in school and in college, not quite “fitting in” with the rest of the crowd. Her parents and sister love her dearly, and are thrilled when she gets a job at a convenience store, at the age of 18. The problem arises when Keiko continues to work at the store for the next 18 years, with no signs of a life partner in her life, no prospects of any promotion/progress in her career. In short, Keiko does not click ANY of the boxes for what is “right” and “normal” as per the standards in their society. When a rather strange boy enters Keiko’s life, her friends and family are ecstatic – at last Keiko will have a happy life! But – does Keiko really need this weird boy at all in her life – just to keep everyone happy? What if she is happy just the way she is, loves her work (and is very good at it!), and doesn’t need a partner, nor a high flying job?
Japanese society seems alarmingly similar to ours! Here are my two primary takeaways from this delightful little book, which I read in two days –
1) Never underestimate the power of a regular employment to give you an identity, to give you a daily routine to follow, to keep you emotionally stable – in short, to keep you happy, and to keep your life in order. You don’t have to be the CEO of your company, but the easy comradeship of your colleagues, the feeling that you are good at what you are doing (however humble that work may be), getting up at a particular time in the morning and getting ready, knowing that you are wanted at your workplace – all this is so, so important. If, like Keiko, your job brings you happiness and contentment, does anyone have a right to question you ? Think of it this way – Keiko may be much happier being a Convenience Store worker, earning her paltry (by other people’s standards), leading her quiet little organized life than a woman who is in the top rungs of her organization!
2) Some people are happy on their own, and they do not feel the need for a partner! People need to respect and understand this – EVERYONE cannot follow the same set of rules. Relatives, neighbourhood aunties, nosy colleagues need to STOP hounding people who choose to live on their own terms! Please respect their privacy.
Ultimately, “Convenience Store Woman” asks the Reader one very important question. What is more important – adhering to society’s norms, however miserable you may be doing so, or being happy and fulfilled in life just the way you are?
Please click “helpful” if you like my review, and you empathize with Keiko!
As Keiko navigates this mystifying world trying her best to fit in, she learns that there is no such thing as normal. Join her on this odyssey to her soul, and you might learn a thing or two about yourself as well.
Top reviews from other countries
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.
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She has worked at a local convenience store for eighteen years. This job started while she was a student, but, at thirty six, she has not moved on and, although perfectly happy in her work, it is obvious that she is not fulfilling the role that society has set out for her. She is not married, feels no warmth towards babies, and is content to remain single.
This is an interesting look at what happens when people do not fit into the roles expected to them and how they are viewed. As someone who worked for a Japanese company for a number of years, I could see how Keiko would have been under immense pressure to conform. It was also a interesting look at the humble convenience store – not viewed by most of us, I am sure, as a thing of great beauty, but, in Keiko’s eyes, raised above the humble station it normally inhabits in our thoughts. A really unusual book, which I am pleased that I read.