[Update: As it seems a proper English translation of this book has been released, I have removed my translation from this page. I am leaving the rest of the page just for historical reasons.]
On the blog Shosetsu Ninja, Yeti reviews Japanese books, and he has recently also started putting up a few translations of samples of books and other things. Last year, after discovering the book “そして、星の輝く夜がくる” on my blog (which I did a short translation of here), he read it and posted his own review here. (Update: This review here by another person is pretty good as well).
Then, the other day when I was reading his blog I came across his review of the (155th) Akutagawa Prize winning book “コンビニ人間” (Konbini Ningen, “Convenience Store Woman”) by Sayaka Murata, published by Bungeishunju (文藝春秋). Some time back, I had actually seen this book in Kinokuniya and was attracted by the cover, but for some reason I didn’t buy it that day. However, after reading Yeti’s review and learning the book was relatively short, I decided to try it out myself (and, in a sense, return the favor).
Before I even read the book I knew that I wanted to also try translating a little of it, partially because it seemed the book had several reviews in English and there was no still no English translation, or even any signs of plans for one. So this article will focus on the translation and not be a proper review (Update: I posted a review here).
I decided to limit the translation to just the first few pages that are available in the free sample available on the E-book site BookLive here. I cut it a few sentences short of the end of the sample, because I felt the place I stopped at was a little more dramatic (which turned out to be the last line on page 9 in the paper book). You can also buy the full E-copy on that site, and the current price is only 1000 Yen. I personally wanted a hardback, physical paper copy which I bought at Kinokuniya in Portland.
To make it very clear, this translation is completely unofficial and not endorsed in any way by the author or publisher. Feel free to link to this article, but please do not cut and paste and of the translated content into any other sites.
While I don’t see myself translating too much more of this work (at least not unofficially), let me know if you would like to read more of this. You never know who might be reading this blog, and your comments and likes may help us get an official English translation.