A best-seller in Japan, and the winner of the prestigious Akutagawa Prize, Convenience Store Woman marks the English-language debut of a writer who has been hailed as the most exciting voice of her generation.
Convenience Store Woman centres on Keiko who has never really fitted in. At school and university people find her odd and her family worries she'll never be normal. To appease them, Keiko takes a job at a newly opened convenience store. Here, she finds peace and purpose in the simple, daily tasks and routine interactions. She is, she comes to understand, happiest as a convenience store worker. But in Keiko's social circle it just won't do for an unmarried woman to spend all her time stacking shelves and re-ordering green tea. As pressure mounts on Keiko to find either a new job, or worse, a husband, she is forced to take desperate action.
I'd seen a lot of hype surrounding this novel but little about the actual content and so I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting; regardless it far out passed my expectations! I found Convenience Store Woman a beautifully, quirky story which is driven by Sayaka Murata's ability to create realistically flawed yet likable characters. Indeed this is by far the strongest point of the novel - although this is not to criticise a lack of plot - I was fully invested in Keiko and her life and it was this that I found made the book so difficult to put down. I am so excited to see that another of Murata's novels, Earthlings, is to be published later this year. I honestly can't recommend her writing enough!