Convenience Store Woman

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata is a short novel translated from Japanese. Keiko is a 36 year-old woman working in a convenient store in Japan since she was 18. Unlike the other employees who have come and gone at the store, Keiko is not intending this to be a transient job or a means to an end. This is where she feels like she belongs and doesn’t have higher aspirations. As a child, she startled her parents and teachers by exhibiting some questionable behavior. In order to conform to what everyone told her was normal, Keiko has been observing her fellow workers and listening to her sister’s advice about how to be ‘normal.’  It may be that her family and friends can’t understand her satisfaction about her job or single status.  However, Keiko is content and structures her life to her job as a convenience store worker.  When a new employee comes to the store, Keiko sees him as a way to stop her family and friends from asking when she will get a real job and when will she get married and have children.  The young man sees Keiko as a way of keeping people from bugging him, too, about similar demands from society that he wants no part of.  Convenience Store Woman demonstrates alternatives to normal that may just be very….  normal.

Convenience Store Woman

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