Convenience Store Woman

By Sayaka Murata
  • Character-driven
  • Fiction

Keiko works part time in a convenience store, much to the consternation of friends and family who believe her university education and child-bearing years to have gone to waste. According to a former manager, her salary is designed to provide her the basic requirements needed to function as an effective employee. For Keiko, the clear structure of the job provides great comfort; interpersonal relationships are clearly defined, clothing is uniform, her role is clear-cut. Convenience Store Woman is the story of a person who is atypical, finding their place in a society than prizes convention above all else. This compact novella leaves us pondering concepts of happiness, convention, capitalism, and what it means to exist in the world right now.

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