[Looking for nominations!] Intermediate Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: セーラー服と機関銃

Convenience Store Woman (コンビニ人間)

Summary

Japanese

「普通」とは何か?
現代の実存を軽やかに問う第155回芥川賞受賞作

36歳未婚、彼氏なし。コンビニのバイト歴18年目の古倉恵子。
日々コンビニ食を食べ、夢の中でもレジを打ち、
「店員」でいるときのみ世界の歯車になれる――。

「いらっしゃいませー!!」
お客様がたてる音に負けじと、今日も声を張り上げる。

ある日、婚活目的の新入り男性・白羽がやってきて、
そんなコンビニ的生き方は恥ずかしい、と突きつけられるが……。

累計92万部突破&20カ国語に翻訳決定。
世界各国でベストセラーの話題の書。
https://www.amazon.co.jp/コンビニ人間-文春文庫-村田-沙耶香/dp/4167911302/
Add Japanese summary here.

English

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 bitter young man comes to work
in the store, he will upset Keiko’s contented stasis.
Grove Atlantic

Availability

コンビニ人間 @ amazon.co.jp
コンビニ人間 @ ebookjapan
English Translation:
Convenience Store Woman @ amazon.com

Excerpt from Book

Personal Opinion

I came across it because it won the Akutagawa award, then I saw that it was
being translated into English. Looks like a fun, critical look at Japanese
society.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Highly regarded book. Winner of several book awards.
  • Shorter work (148 pages)
  • English translation exists, for those who wish to use that translation as a reference.
  • Plenty of English-language reviews to see if it is to your taste. New Yorker Review

Cons

  • There are no chapters, though there are section breaks at what seem to be regular intervals.

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One




Additional Pages



Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

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