Winner of Japan’s highest writing honor and also a page-turner, this quirky gem explores the theme of conformity through its exceedingly memorable protagonist. Provides an entertaining slice of life view into Japanese culture too.
"The prestigious Akutagawa Prize-winning Murata, herself a part-time 'convenience store woman, ' makes a dazzling English-language debut in a crisp translation by Ginny Tapley Takemori rich in scathingly entertaining observations on identity, perspective, and the suffocating hypocrisy of 'normal' society."--Booklist (starred review)
"A sly take on modern work culture and social conformism, told through one woman's 18-year tenure as a convenience store employee . . . Murata provides deceptively sharp commentary on the narrow social slots people--particularly women--are expected to occupy and how those who deviate can inspire bafflement, fear, or anger in others . . . Murata skillfully navigates the line between the book's wry and weighty concerns and ensures readers will never conceive of the 'pristine aquarium' of a convenience store in quite the same way. A unique and unexpectedly revealing English language debut."--Kirkus Reviews
"Murata's writing, nicely rendered by Takemori's translation, uses the characters of Keiko and Shiraha to deliver a thought-provoking commentary on the meaning of conforming to the expectations of society. While Murata's novel focuses on life in Japanese culture, her storytelling will resonate with all people and experiences."--Library Journal