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The convenience store woman synopsis

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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Convenience Store Woman

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.

The novel then goes back in time to provide the backstory of this convenience store worker. Keiko Furukuru grew up in suburban Japan with a regular, loving family. Her parents were kind and she was close with her younger sister, Mami.

But her family and teachers notice that from a young age, Keiko is not like other children. She reacts to situations with removed logic rather than by following social norms or by feeling human empathy.

For example, she views a dead pet bird as possible food, she ends a fight between two boys by nearly killing one of them, and succeeds in quieting a hysterical teacher by pulling her pants down in front of her class. After being taken to therapists and being constantly told she must be cured, Keiko grows up believing that she is an outsider.

Her family is thrilled when she gets a job working at a local convenience store while she is in university, because they see this as a sign of her progression. She discovers that this job comes with an employee manual and a uniform that gives her clarity on how to act in the context of the shop. While she still does not know how to act outside of the shop, she finds that she thrives within it, learning every detail of her responsibilities and living for the customers.

Eighteen years later, Keiko is now 36 years old, still an unmarried virgin, working the same part time job at the convenience store. Her friends and family are astounded by her inability to progress in live, and after being interrogated about her job and her unmarried status so many times, she decides to do something about it.

She asks a disgruntled ex-employee named Shiraha, who was fired due to poor work ethic and general unpleasantness, if he would like to come live with her.

She adopts Shiraha as a pet, and in exchange for providing food and shelter for him, he lives in her apartment. When she tells her friends and family that there is a man in her apartment, they automatically jump to their own conclusions of what this means and congratulate her on her happy news.

This indicates how quick people are to fill in the blanks with their own imaginations and how keen we all are to make sense of things that are out of the ordinary. In reality, she has a misogynistic, homeless, angry man living in her bathtub that she feeds like a pet, but everyone is convinced that this supposed romance is the best thing that has happened to her.

Shiraha and Keiko discuss the option of getting married in order to legalize their relationship of convenience. Shiraha is determined to stay at home yet finds that men are victimized for not working and supporting themselves and their families, especially if their wife is not making a lot of money either. Therefore, he convinces Keiko to resign from her beloved job at the convenience store and find a better paying job.

She acquiesces, eager to please everyone just so that they will leave her alone and stop questioning her life choices. After her last shift at the convenience store, she loses her purpose in life. She no longer needs to nourish her body with food and sleep for the sake of her work, she no longer has the schedule of the convenience store to orient her days, and she no longer has anywhere to be or anything to do.

On her way to a job interview, Keiko wanders into a nearby convenience store in the business district. She is immediately drawn in by the familiar sounds of the convenience store and instinctively knows exactly what the store needs in order to improve its displays, customer service, and promotions.

She realizes at that moment that more than a person, she is a convenience store worker. Read more from the Study Guide. Browse all BookRags Study Guides. All rights reserved. Toggle navigation. Sign Up. Sign In. Get Convenience Store Woman from Amazon. View the Study Pack. Plot Summary. Page 1 - Page 30 - Page 57 - Page 94 - Page - Free Quiz.

Symbols and Symbolism. Themes and Motifs. Print Word PDF. This section contains words approx. Settings Themes and Motifs Styles. View a FREE sample. More summaries and resources for teaching or studying Convenience Store Woman. Convenience Store Woman from BookRags.

コンビニ人間 [Konbini ningen]

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.

The following version of this book was used to create this study guide: Murata, Sayaka. Convenience Store Woman. Translated by Ginny Tapley Takemore.

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata. Keiko is the perfect employee — never late, always worrying about how to maximize sales, brilliantly conscientious, and highly energetic. Managers come and go but Keiko remains at the store for 18 years. At 36, Keiko is very happy in her life, but the people close to her, from her family to her coworkers, pressure her to settle down with a man and to find a proper profession. Eventually, she is pushed to make a huge change.

Convenience Store Woman Summary & Study Guide

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Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata review – sublimely weird

An editor, two fans, and an author who just wrote a novel about convenience stores walk into a on a windy day in March. The store is in Tokyo, not far from the Imperial Palace. As we enter, Murata casts a practiced eye around the She worked here until she became so well known as an author that she had to take a job at a different chain.

When Keiko was in her early twenties, nobody considered her life choices especially strange.

A brilliant depiction of an unusual psyche and a world hidden from view, Convenience Store Woman is an ironic and sharp-eyed look at contemporary work culture and the pressures to conform, as well as a charming and completely fresh portrait of an unforgettable heroine. Read it now click to open popover Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

“Convenience Store Woman” by Sayaka Murata

A quirky, wryly humorous slice of Japanese fiction that smuggles a scalpel sharp dissection of gender politics and social expectations in amongst the deadpan lines and off-beat dialogue. Keiko finds her new job stacking shelves both rewarding and enjoyable, but her friends and family soon begin exerting pressure to force her down a very different path. Keiko has never really fitted in. At school and university people find her odd and her family worries she'll never be normal.

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Ubiquitous and abundant, convenience stores in Japan are an icon of modern life. But, behind the clockwork efficiency, are they in fact manned by contented robots? This is the only way I can be a normal person. Her options, repeated ad nauseam by co-workers and family, are equally out of reach: get married, or at least a real job. Social pressure in Japan remains strong, but, as the novel shows, there may be shifts in the notion of how women — and men — should actually live. At Smile Mart, Keiko is reassured by simply following the rules, feeling genuine joy when the milk cartons line up neatly and the lunchboxes are restocked.

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

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. This peace came to her the first day she worked at the store. She learns how to speak informally, dress according to latest fashions, and express prevailing opinions to fit it. There are some incidents in her youth which she recollects, anti-social acts, that seemingly came out of nowhere and likely drew her into her shell. She lives alone in a tiny flat and sees no one except her younger sister and her family, and her only friend from her school days, Miho. Enter Shiraha.

Convenience Store Woman: Meet Author Sayaka Murata Her English-language debut, Convenience Store Nov 6, - Uploaded by JapanSocietyNYC.

Sayaka Murata's award-winning debut, Convenience Store Woman , finds that when social life becomes too much, even a convenience store can be a welcome refuge. Grove Press. June For a novelist, the anomie imposed by the modern condition -- a world of alienated, objectified, neoliberal subjects -- is a creative source of immense potential.

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.

It captures the atmosphere of the familiar convenience store that is so much part of life in Japan. The novel won the Akutagawa Prize in It is the first of Murata's novels to be translated into English. Keiko Furukura is a year old woman, who has been working part-time at a convenience store , or konbini , for the last 18 years.

N ot all novel titles manage so very literally to describe the contents, but this one — unapologetically deadpan yet enticingly comic — absolutely does.

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