Convenience Store Woman

paperback, 163 pages

Published Feb. 23, 2018 by Granta.

ISBN:
978-1-84627-683-5
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4 stars (39 reviews)

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. For her part, in the convenience store she finds a predictable world mandated by the store manual, which dictates how the workers should act and what they should say, and she copies her coworkers' style of dress and speech patterns so that she can play the part of a normal person. However, eighteen years later, at age 36, she is still in the same job, has never had a boyfriend, and has only few friends. She feels comfortable in her life, but is aware that she is not living up to society's expectations and causing her family to worry about her. When a similarly alienated but cynical and …

3 editions

This book got me into reading!

5 stars

It is a really unusual tale of a middle-aged part time worker completely satisfied with her life being confronted with different expectations of the people around her. This books highlights how people completely comfortable with their life get looked down upon by people viewing them as a 'failure'. I thought it gave a great reason to show how a good life not adhearing to the societal expectations can turn terrible by adhearing to them. It is partly cold partly funny and I loved every word from it.

However it might be a bit different from other books. Due to its' short length I still recommend this book to anyone interested in societal topics and simple living.

Review of 'Convenience Store Woman' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

"As far as I was concerned, though, keeping my mouth shut was the most sensible approach to getting by in life."

Keiko has always been different. Growing up she had problems understanding social norms, and her parents were concerned that she would always require an extra hand in life to get by. But soon after Keiko started going to university, she stumbled upon Smile Mart, a new convenience store opening up outside her train station. She was hired on, and spent the next 30-something odd years employed as a convenience store clerk. The same-ness of convenience store life appealed to Keiko, where there was an understandable pattern and flow to a workday. But everyone around her, from her parents to her friends to even her coworkers, felt that there was something wrong with her for not wanting something more for herself. Where was her permanent job? Her husband? Her kids? …

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