Convenience Store Woman – Sayaka Murata

Title : Convenience Store Woman
Author : Sayaka Murata
Translator : Ginny Taplet Takemori
Publisher : Portobello Books
Year of Publication : June 27th 2018, Portobello Books
Pages : Paperback, 163 pages
Rate : 4.5/5

Keiko Furukara found her first part-time job at the convenience store when she was eighteen. It was not because her family was poor or could not afford her living expenses, but just simply to make them stop worrying about her who cannot fit in the society.

Now, Keiko is a 36-year-old woman and is still working at the same convenience store. For her, a convenience store gives a sense of peace and a guide to be normal in this world. She mimics everybody around her, like how her fellow store worker wears and how they talk, so instantly she follows all orders on the manual book and becomes normal.

“When I first started here, there was a detailed manual that taught me how to be a store worker, and I still don’t have a clue how to be a normal person outside that manual.” -Convenience Store Woman, page 90

However, in her family and her circle, Keiko is still being looked down on as someone who needs to be “cured”. Questioning about what kind of future that somebody can have for an unmarried woman who does not have a stable paid job. But, what kind of manual that she needs to follow and who is the one creates the manual?

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