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Japan Society Book Club: Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

14 January — 7:00 pm


Monday 14 January 2019               7.00pm

The Japan Society
13 / 14 Cornwall Terrace
London NW1 4QP

Free for Japan Society Members
Book online here

Available from AbeBooks, Book Depository and Amazon
Japanese version available here

Murata Sayaka’s Convenience Store Woman is a novel of deftly crafted paradoxes set in a convenience store, a familiar place of everyday life in Japan. The protagonist, Keiko Furukura, is a numb character depicted in bare and swift language, yet is one of the most intriguing personas in recent Japanese literature. Aged 36, Furukura is single and has been working at the poignantly named ‘Smile Mart’ convenience store for over 18 years, having joined whilst a university undergraduate. 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 bitter young man comes to work in the store, he will upset Keiko’s contented stasis–but will it be for the better?

Read our review here

The book club is held every month. There is no restriction on the nationality of the authors read, but books should be available in translation in both Japanese and English. The discussion is conducted mainly in English, but you can choose the language in which you read the book. The intention is simple: to explore the themes of the book, express personal opinions on the style and content, discuss how the book has changed (or not) in translation and to have a relaxed discussion with others who have similar interests.

Sayaka Murata was born in Chiba Prefecture in 1979. She was a fan of manga and novels for girls and started writing fiction while still in elementary school. She made her debut in 2003 with Junyu (Breastfeeding), a short story which received a merit award in the Gunzo Prize for New Writers. In 2013 she won the Mishima Yukio Prize for Shiro-iro no machi no, sono hone no taion no (Of Bones, Of Body Heat, of Whitening City). Konbini ningen (lit. Convenience Store People) is her 10th novel and was awarded the Akutagawa Prize in 2016. The novel has sold over 600,000 copies in Japan and it is the first work by Murata translated in English. Throughout her writing career Murata has worked part-time as a convenience store clerk in Tokyo.

To reserve your place, please call the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996 or email events@japansociety.org.uk or submit the online booking form.

 

Details

Date:
14 January
Time:
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:
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    The Japan Society
    13/14 Cornwall Terrace
    London NW1 4QP