Earthlings: Funny, dark and not for the squeamish

Dark novel about sex abuse from Sayaka Murata, author of Convenience Store Woman

Sayaka Murata

Sayaka Murata

“It’s really hard to put into words things that are just a little bit not okay.” So says the protagonist of Sayaka Murata’s Earthlings, leading us down a merry path that ends with one of the most visceral, unforgettable descriptions of lives gone awry that you might ever read. This is the Japanese author’s 11th novel but only her second in English. It follows Convenience Store Woman (2018), with both novels deftly translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori.

In Convenience Store Woman, Murata gave us Keiko, a character on the fringes who is just about surviving as she watches her female friends and relations fall easily into marriage and family life. A sharp and funny novel, it balanced the profound with the quirky and was a hit with readers across the world.

The Irish Times
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