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The convenience store woman summary

Convenience Store Woman tells the story of a year-old social misfit who has worked for 18 years in a titular store in Tokyo. Murata writes with a deadpan humour in early scenes that have much fun depicting Keiko the outsider. She literally learns the language of her new tribe by imitating the speech patterns of her matronly supervisor Mrs Izumi, or the hip till assistant Sugawara, to great comic effect. Instead Murata uses her oddball narrator to deliver quips at an impressive rate about so-called normal social behaviour. Such a device is not new in contemporary fiction. They all work in similar ways, by placing misfit narrators in absurd circumstances to highlight wider inequalities and hypocrisies in the modern world.

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Convenience Store Woman - Book Review

Sayaka Murata’s Eerie “Convenience Store Woman” Is a Love Story Between a Misfit and a Store

In our dark late-capitalist hypnosis, convenience might carry a whiff of moral virtue. It suggests thrift, accommodation, helpfulness.

You may not even notice the convenience-store worker until she is in front of you, enthusiastically bagging your purchases. The book centers on a thirty-six-year-old woman named Keiko Furukura, an oddball who is endlessly puzzled by human behavior.

The author herself worked at a convenience store for nearly eighteen years. For the most part, her manner is that of a friendly alien scientist, but, at times, she swerves toward the psychopathic. But Keiko finds purpose and acceptance at the Smile Mart, where she receives a uniform and a manual that outlines exactly how she is supposed to conduct herself, down to the scripted phrases approved for customer interactions. The novel borrows from Gothic romance, in its pairing of the human and the alluringly, dangerously not.

It is a love story, in other words, about a misfit and a store. Or is horror the more accurate genre? I understood it perfectly. Is she monstrous? Brave and eccentric? For all the creepiness of her cheerful obedience to the manual, she is, at least, choosing a different kind of conformity than the rest of society, which insists that she marry and pursue a conventional career path.

Writing in the Times , Motoko Rich suggested that Keiko embodies a demographic anxiety in Japan, which has been experiencing falling marriage rates and low birth rates for years. Articles have fretted over celibacy syndrome : an aversion, among Japanese young people, to sex and romance. The past decade has also seen a rise in hikikomori , men who withdraw from the public sphere and retreat into their homes, where they play video games, sleep, or stare at the ceiling. He sleeps in the bathtub and lazes about.

If Keiko comes off as frightening and robotic, so does the entire universe in which her story unfurls. You kept your calm, even though it was your first time on the till. Good job, keep it up. Oh look, the next customer! Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy. Discover the inspiration behind an artistic collaboration between poet Cleo Wade and muralist Bareket Kezwer in Ontario's capital.

By Katy Waldma n. Katy Waldman is a staff writer at The New Yorker. More: Books Japan Novels. Read More. Page-Turne r.

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata review – sublimely weird

T hat Convenience Store Woman is a delight to read probably goes without saying: it reached bestseller status in Japan and now is selling very well in English translation. The short novel by Sayaka Murata an author and part time convenience store worker is about thirty-six-year-old Keiko Furukura, who has worked half of her life in a branch of Smile Mart, a Tokyo convenience store. Working there she has found a kind of peace in the orderly store procedures and customer interaction dictates.

N ot all novel titles manage so very literally to describe the contents, but this one — unapologetically deadpan yet enticingly comic — absolutely does. Keiko has been a worry to her family all her life, bullied and friendless, her behaviour sometimes even chilling.

The English-language debut of an exciting young voice in international fiction, selling , copies in Japan alone, Convenience Store Woman is a bewitching portrayal of contemporary Japan through the eyes of a single woman who fits in to the rigidity of its work culture only too well. Keiko Furukura had always been considered a strange child, and her parents always worried how she would get on in the real world, so when she takes on a job in a convenience store while at university, they are delighted for her. However, eighteen years later, at age 36, she is still in the same job, has never had a boyfriend, and has only few friends. Sayaka Murata brilliantly captures the atmosphere of the familiar convenience store that is so much part of life in Japan.

Convenience Store Woman Summary & Study Guide

In our dark late-capitalist hypnosis, convenience might carry a whiff of moral virtue. It suggests thrift, accommodation, helpfulness. You may not even notice the convenience-store worker until she is in front of you, enthusiastically bagging your purchases. The book centers on a thirty-six-year-old woman named Keiko Furukura, an oddball who is endlessly puzzled by human behavior. The author herself worked at a convenience store for nearly eighteen years. For the most part, her manner is that of a friendly alien scientist, but, at times, she swerves toward the psychopathic. But Keiko finds purpose and acceptance at the Smile Mart, where she receives a uniform and a manual that outlines exactly how she is supposed to conduct herself, down to the scripted phrases approved for customer interactions. The novel borrows from Gothic romance, in its pairing of the human and the alluringly, dangerously not. It is a love story, in other words, about a misfit and a store. Or is horror the more accurate genre?

Convenience Store Woman review: a deeply engaging debut novel

The following version of this book was used to create this study guide: Murata, Sayaka. Convenience Store Woman. Translated by Ginny Tapley Takemore. New York: Grove Press, She is skilled at her job and knows exactly what to do at all instances by instinct.

It captures the atmosphere of the familiar convenience store that is so much part of life in Japan.

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“Convenience Store Woman” by Sayaka Murata

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Jun 12, - Sayaka Murata's Convenience Store Woman was a huge hit in Japan, The sentences are short and simple, and the plot offers very little in the.

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Comments: 1
  1. Mojas

    Also that we would do without your excellent phrase

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