by Sayaka Murata
Welcome to the weird and (occasionally) wonderful world of Keiko Furukura and her beloved Convenience Store.
Marginalised by ordinary society, and following a confusing and at times problematic childhood, Keiko finds it difficult to find her place in the modern world, until she stumbles accross the Convenience Store. In this delightful fable of contemporary human existence, Keiko, with the guidance of the bizarre and repulsive Shiraha, must make a choice – between her place as a cog in the global corporate machine ( “my hourly pay covered the basic requirement to condition my body so it was fit to take to work”) and the perhaps equally opressive social imperative created by others’ opinions and expectations.
A marvellous Japanese novel which will get you thinking.
Published by Granta; £8.99