Convenience Store Woman

by Sayaka Murata

It’s very easy to put this down and think ‘oh that was odd, I guess I liked it?’—but when I sat down to properly process it, I found it relentlessly depressing and more than a little discomforting. Whoever is calling this book funny needs to rethink their humour mechanisms.

While the writing remains plucky and quirky, Keiko is being brutally violated by the most abhorrent of men, and he doesn’t even get his comeuppance. In that way, it reminded me of Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss, where you so feel for the women who can’t comprehend how they’re being misused.

Nobody in Keiko’s life can accept that her job at a convenience store is legitimately fulfilling to her, and it’s heart-breaking to read the lengths she goes to to try and assuage their misplaced worries.