Convenience Store Woman by Sakaya Murata

Quietly insightful.

Thirty-six-year-old, self-deprecating Keiko Furukura lives in Tokyo. Her family is not happy with the way she is. She is awkward, never has felt as though she fits in anywhere until she starts working at the local convenience store. Here, she finds that she can understand and work with the people that come in and out, the rules and codes of her little universe where she is safe and in control. It’s only when she leaves the store that she has problems and the rules and expectations of her family weigh on her.

This novella is a touching glimpse into Japanese culture. Keiko is a sweet protagonist who captures the stereotypes of the self-deprecating, honorable, respectful ways of the Japanese people BUT, reveals the true self beneath.

A quick and enjoyable read for lovers of Asian cultures.

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Goodbye Things by Fumio Sasaki