Convenience Store Woman


Sayaka Murata

Convenience Store Woman is a commentary on how society expects individuals to conform to societal norms.  As the author so poignantly states: “The normal world has no room for exceptions and always quietly eliminates foreign objects.”

Keiko is a 36-year-old single woman who has worked in the same convenience store for the last 18 years.  Always considered to be a bit odd, Keiko has mastered the art of appearing to fit in with others while being true to herself.  Keiko gets pressure from her family to be more “normal”.  She’s told to get a better job and to find a boyfriend.  Keiko is quite content with her life revolving around the convenience store until one day, an encounter with a former employee changes her perspective, as well as the view of others including Keiko’s family and co-workers.

As Keiko navigates the waters of relationships including family, work and romantic will she conform to societal norms or remain true to herself?  This book is for anyone who feels like they are not living up to the expectations of others and perhaps even themselves.  Convenience Store Woman is only 163 pages in length but packs a powerful punch, providing more insight into societal behavior than a book three times its length.  Read it and learn why it’s okay to be your true self.