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There's No Such Thing as an Easy Job

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Japanese fiction is having a huge resurgence, and Kikuko Tsumura is a multi-award-winning author ... Read More

Product Description

Japanese fiction is having a huge resurgence, and Kikuko Tsumura is a multi-award-winning author whose novels have not been published in English before. Polly Barton translated her first work into English for Granta last year, the short story 'The Water Tower and the Turtle', and it won the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers.The novel taps into contemporary discussions of workplace culture, millennial burnout and job dissatisfaction, but does so in the most enjoyable of waysFor fans of Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata (45,703 TCM), Not Working by Lisa Owen (33,982 TCM), the works of Miranda July - as well as avid watchers of Netflix hits Midnight Diner and Terrace House. Bloomsbury's first publication of There's No Such Thing as an Easy Job has sold over 32,000 copiesKikuko Tsumura was born in Osaka, Japan, where she still lives today. In her first job out of college, Tsumura experienced workplace harassment and quit after ten months to retrain and find another position, an experience that inspired her to write stories about young workers. She has won numerous Japanese literary awards including the Akutagawa Prize and the Noma Literary New Face Prize, and her first short story translated into English, 'The Water Tower and the Turtle', won a PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology recognized Tsumura's work with a New Artist award in 2016. There's No Such Thing as an Easy Job is her first novel to be translated into English. Polly Barton is a translator of Japanese literature and non-fiction, based in the UK. Stories she has translated have appeared in Words Without Borders, Granta and The White Review. Full-length translations include Spring Garden by Tomoka Shibasaki and Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda. After being awarded the 2019 Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize, she is currently working on a non-fiction book entitled Fifty Sounds._______________ 'Surreal and unsettling' - Observer Cultural Highlight 'Wise, comical and exceptionally relatable' - Zeba Talkhani 'Quietly hilarious and deeply attuned to the uncanny rhythms and deadpan absurdity of the daily grind' - Sharlene Teo _______________ A woman walks into an employment agency and requests a job that requires no reading, no writing - and ideally, very little thinking. She is sent to an office building where she is tasked with watching the hidden-camera feed of an author suspected of storing contraband goods. But observing someone for hours on end isn't so easy. How will she stay awake? When can she take delivery of her favourite brand of tea? And, perhaps more importantly - how did she find herself in this situation in the first place? As she moves from job to job, writing bus adverts for shops that mysteriously disappear, and composing advice for rice cracker wrappers that generate thousands of devoted followers, it becomes increasingly apparent that she's not searching for the easiest job at all, but something altogether more meaningful... _______________ 'An irreverent but thoughtful voice, with light echoes of Haruki Murakami ... the book is uncannily timely ... a novel as smart as is quietly funny' - Financial Times 'Polly Barton's translation skilfully captures the protagonist's dejected, anxious voice and her deadpan humour ... imaginative and unusual' - Times Literary SupplementConvenience Store Woman meets My Year of Rest and Relaxation in this strange, compelling, darkly funny tale of one woman's search for meaning in the modern workplaceTsumura's portrait of the daily grind is spot-on, her observations wryly tender. Polly Barton's translation captures the deadpan absurdity and subtle surrealism in this inventive Japanese novelUltimately, it is through the winding process of self-repair that we get to share in the character's journey of self-understanding in this altogether human novel'An irreverent but thoughtful voice, with light echoes of Haruki Murakami ... the book is uncannily timely ... a novel as smart as is quietly funnyPolly Barton's translation skilfully captures the protagonist's dejected, anxious voice and her deadpan humour ... imaginative and unusualI have never read such relatable writing about the small stresses of working and how they can feel like disasters at the time. She captures the small apocalypse of an admired colleague leaving, or the sense of powerlessness when a higher-up interferesSurreal, wickedly funny . it feels pretty timely, as we consider the workplace and the purpose of work in our lives at a time of cultural and societal upheaval ... We move through absurdist tableaux and moments of deadpan, existential drama, but it's Tsumura's incisive eye on the small, everyday office stresses so many will find deeply relatable that kept me captivated. The neo-liberal work-life fantasy is obliterated so beautifullyBringing to mind aspects of the terrific Convenience Store Woman, a surreal exploration of finding meaning in lifeSurreal and unsettlingTranslated in a droll and understated style by Polly Barton, part of the novel's appeal lies in the narrator's distinct worldview and her deadpan humor that allows the surreal, metaphysical connections in the novel to bubble beneath the surface of her seemingly dull, day-to-day existenceA fascinating, immersive novel about a young Japanese woman moving from one mundane job to another, searching for employment that doesn't require her to think too much. But she soon finds out that no matter how simple her set tasks, there are intrigue, magic and the unexpected to each one. Fans of My Year Of Rest And Relaxation will adore this exquisitely deadpan book, adeptly translated by Polly BartonA surreal employment odyssey ... Recommended for anyone missing time in the officeA brilliant riposte ... don't get mad, get even - and then get even betterA wise, comical and exceptionally relatable novel on finding meaning and purpose in our work livesQuietly hilarious and deeply attuned to the uncanny rhythms and deadpan absurdity of the daily grind, Kikuko Tsumara's postmodern existential workplace saga both skewers and celebrates our deeply human need to function in society and keep surviving in an oftentimes senseless-seeming worldRead it before you burn outThe fantastical flavour of this book is one of its charms . This is a masterpiece of a book about the working worldSpending time in the author's unique world, which seems so bizarre and random but is in fact artfully designed, I found myself healed and restoredDelightful and disturbing in equal measure ... Mesmeric, funny, wry, delightful - this is a novel to help the millennials find their own paths through the world they've inheritedTsumura's novel is a pleasing, quietly enjoyable slice of fiction with a message for those who give themselves entirely to work, no matter how rewarding it may beCompletely different to anything I've read before ... there is an almost dreamlike feeling to the story

Product Details

Title: There's No Such Thing as an Easy Job
Author: Kikuko Tsumura
SKU: BK0454216
EAN: 9781526622259

About Author

Kikuko Tsumura is a writer from Osaka, Japan. She is the winner of the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize and numerous Japanese literary awards including the Akutagawa Prize, Noma Literary Prize, Dazai Osamu Prize, and a New Artist award.

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