Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata (Japan)

I very much agree with your provisional diagnosis of some degree of autism. I found her world seemed both narrow and claustrophobic. Nevertheless there seems some celebration of her determination to live according to her own precepts. Interesting!!

Imogen is Reading and Watching the World: On Books, Film, Art & More

Translated from the Japanese by Ginny Tapley


Convenience Store Woman (first published in 2016) is a quick and deceptively unchallenging read that reminded me of a Japanese Eleanor Oliphant. It has a straightforward, flowing style, which is very easy to engage with. I first read and reviewed this book in mid-2020, and I’m reposting as part of ‘Japanuary’ – my month of engagement with different aspects of Japanese culture.

Keiko, the narrator, is an outsider who has learnt to mask her true self (or lack of feeling of self) in order to fit in with society’s expectations. For almost two decades, since finishing her studies, she has worked part-time in a convenience store, mimicking the cadences and behaviour of other workers, fulfilling every stricture of the employees’ handbook and living according to a strict routine, heating food from the store for her evening…

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By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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