In 2016, the good book Convenience Store Girl by Murata Sayaka was awarded the prestigious Akutagawa Literary Award, focusing on a single woman despite all the pressures of Japanese society, striving hard just to be successful.

So, what is a normal woman, according to the conventions of Japanese society?

Right from the time she was little, Keiko had unusual symptoms.

For Keiko, the store has turned into her utopia, where she learns how her colleagues speak, how to choose clothes and shoes, and facial expressions, things she has never been taught before.

Perhaps the two most privacy-invading questions that women in Asian countries often hear and are forced to answer are: when will you get married, and when will you have children?

After 18 years of living peacefully and being absolutely satisfied with her choice, in middle age, Keiko began to face raised eyebrows, probing questions, and urgings from relatives and friends.

It is thought that modern society will give people more freedom, but in reality, the freedom of women like Keiko is severely limited.

Considered “Japan’s most assertive new literary voice in taking aim at her country’s taboos,” Murata said she wanted to write this beautiful book “from the perspective of someone who opposes this way of thinking.”