Portobello wins auction for Japanese 'literary sensation'

Portobello wins auction for Japanese 'literary sensation'

Portobello Books has snapped up a prize-winning debut from Japanese author Sayaka Murata entitled Convenience Store Woman.

Commissioning editor Anne Meadows acquired UK rights at auction from rights director Amy Hundley at Grove Atlantic.

An "oddball, bittersweet" comedy, Convenience Store Woman tells the story of Keiko, a society misfit who tries to appease her normal family by taking a job in her local convenience store, only to find true contentment in its orderly surroundings. Years pass and Keiko’s friends and family become ever more alarmed, entreating her to find a better job, or worse, a husband. Until one day, overwhelmed by their exhortations, Keiko is forced to take desperate action...

Convenience Store Woman, which has sold more than 650,000 copies in Japan, has been awarded the Akutagawa Prize and praised by some of the biggest names in contemporary Japanese literature, including Yoko Ogawa, Hiromi Kawakami and Ryu Murakami.

Foreign rights have sold to Denoël (France), Aufbau (Germany), E/O (Italy), Duomo (Spain), China South Booky Culture (China), Sallim (Korea), Estacao Liberdade (Portugal), Antonio Vallardi (Spain), A Book By AG Group (Thailand) and Systex Corporation (Taiwan).

Murata is 36-years-old and works part-time in a convenience store. 

Translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori, Convenience Store Woman will be published by Portobello Books in June 2018.