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2019.01.11 The New Yorker Names “Convenience Store Woman” as One of the Best Books of 2018
One of the Best Books of 2018 by The New Yorker magazine was the English translation of Sayaka Murata’s “Convenience Store Woman.” The original Japanese version sold over 650,000 copies and won Akutagawa Award, one of Japan’s top awards for writers. This is the first novel by Murata to be translated in English, beautifully done by Ginny Takemori.

The New Yorker, launched in 1925 and has become a prominent literary arts magazine in the US, is known for its high standards of publications. Past winners include J D Salinger and Truman Capote who became worldly-famous writers. Haruki Murakami, another Japanese author, also adds his name to the list. “Convenience Store Woman” was one of the nine best books. Others included “Ordinary People” by Diana Evans, “Immigrant, Montana” by Amitava Kumar from India, “Confessions of the Fox by transgender author Jordy Rosenberg.

“Convenience Store Woman” received high praises shortly after its publication by Publishers Weekly. Amazon selected the book as one of the recommended books of the month. New York Times featured Murata in one of their articles. Other major media outlets gave the book high rates, including fashion magazines ELLE and Vogue which introduced it as one of the summer reads.

The book is a fiction of thirty-six-year-old single woman in Tokyo, whose only joy she finds is her job at a convenience store. The story depicts social isolation, and ask the readers: What is “being normal”? Author Murata herself worked at a convenience store three days a week, which undoubtedly inspired her to write this book. Katy Waldman, a staff writer at The New Yorker, comments that this book “It is a love story, in other words, about a misfit and a store.”

“The Convenience Store Woman” is currently translated into 30 languages including English. It will most likely become a bigger hit after this listing from The New Yorker.
 
https://www.newyorker.com/culture/2018-in-review/the-best-books-of-2018

https://www.asahi.com/articles/ASLD74QB7LD7UCVL00X.html

https://www.kinokuniya.co.jp/f/dsg-01-9784163906188

https://gqjapan.jp/culture/bma/20181218/sayaka-murata