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Staff Pick of the Week: Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

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In Convenience Store Woman, protagonist Keiko Furukura finds herself living at odds with the expectations put on her by Japanese society. At 36, she has been working at the same convenience store since she was 18, has few friends, and has never been in a romantic relationship. Her family is baffled by the fact that she is content with her life, enjoying the regularity that her job offers. Murata’s absorbing English-language debut (translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori) concerns themes of conformity, societal expectations, and personal happiness. If you are interested in Japanese culture or if you’re just looking for a unique new read, the Library recommends Convenience Store Woman. -George, FTPL

“Sayaka Murata brilliantly captures the atmosphere of the familiar convenience store that is so much part of life in Japan. With some laugh-out-loud moments prompted by the disconnect between Keiko’s thoughts and those of the people around her, she provides a sharp look at Japanese society and the pressure to conform, as well as penetrating insights into the female mind. Convenience Store Woman is a fresh, charming portrait of an unforgettable heroine that recalls Banana Yoshimoto, Han Kang, and Amélie.” -Taken from

“Murata’s smart and sly novel …is a critique of the expectations and restrictions placed on single women in their 30s. This is a moving, funny, and unsettling story about how to be a “functioning adult” in today’s world.” –Publishers Weekly

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