Author: Sayaka Murata
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher: Grove Atlantic
Publication Date: October 6, 2020
Book Description: From the beloved author of cult sensation Convenience Store Woman, which has now sold more than one million copies worldwide and has been translated into thirty-three languages, comes a spellbinding and otherworldly novel about a woman who believes she is an alien
Sayaka Murata’s Convenience Store Woman was one of the most unusual and refreshing bestsellers of recent years, depicting the life of a thirty-six-year-old clerk in a Tokyo convenience store. Now, in Earthlings, Sayaka Murata pushes at the boundaries of our ideas of social conformity in this brilliantly imaginative, intense, and absolutely unforgettable novel.
As a child, Natsuki doesn’t fit in with her family. Her parents favor her sister, and her best friend is a plush toy hedgehog named Piyyut, who talks to her. He tells her that he has come from the planet Popinpobopia on a special quest to help her save the Earth. One summer, on vacation with her family and her cousin Yuu in her grandparents’ ramshackle wooden house in the mountains of Nagano, Natsuki decides that she must be an alien, which would explain why she can’t seem to fit in like everyone else. Later, as a grown woman, living a quiet life with her asexual husband, Natsuki is still pursued by dark shadows from her childhood, and decides to flee the “baby factory” of society for good, searching for answers about the vast and frightening mysteries of the universe—answers only Natsuki has the power to uncover.
Dreamlike, sometimes shocking, and always strange and wonderful, Earthlings asks what it means to be happy in a stifling world, and cements Sayaka Murata’s status as a master chronicler of the outsider experience and our own uncanny universe.
Rating: 4 Stars
Review: Like Murata’s first book Convenience Store Woman we get another intriguing, and bizarre read that I loved as much as the first.
This is a very hard book to write a review, because this is a short read and I do not want to give any. From the very high level, this s about Natsuki and Yuu who are cousins, and also decide they love each other, when at the are the earliest they can really discover love. They also believe that they are not from this world.
Murata tells wonderful rich stories, that only she can write. These characters are memorable and lovely and a story that will stay with me for a very long time.
At first glance these books do not appear to in my wheelhouse, but I have not been disappointed. If you are on the fence, I recommend give this short book a try, I think you may be be surprised.
Thank you NetGalley and Grove Atlantic for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.