Heartfelt, charming, and slyly funny, Convenience Store Woman follows thirty-six-year-old Keiko Furukura. Keiko has never fit in; neither in her family, nor in school, but when she begins working at the Hiiromachi branch of the national convenience store chain “Smile Mart,” she finally feels content. In the convenience store Keiko finds a predictable world mandated by the store manual, and she does her best to copy the dress, mannerisms, and mode of speech of her colleagues, playing the part of a “normal” person excellently, more or less. She is the perfect employee and she’s happy with her life, but is aware that she is not living up to society’s and her family’s expectations to find a partner and a proper profession. Eventually, she is pushed to make a huge change—but will it be for the better?
“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
Sayaka Murata is one of Japan’s most exciting contemporary writers. She 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. She was 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.