Our ReviewsLife Ceremony by Sayaka Murata

Life Ceremony by Sayaka Murata


Sayaka Murata is without doubt an absolutely astounding writer. I mean who else can write about a woman going to the bathroom and keep me so transfixed to the page but also questioning why I can’t stop reading & my entire existence?

Known for Earthlings and Convenience Store Women, with Life Ceremony she ventured into short stories and believe me you are in for a wild ride.

She has such a simple, elegant way of writing. The stories are all….. very very weird – ranging from life where dead bodies are turned into all manner of household items, cannibalism after death as a form of honour to a girl who falls in love with …. A CURTAIN as examples.

And yet. The way she writes. Obviously some stories will appeal more then others but I was mesmerised. She will make you question everything, like why it’s so normal to eat animals and turn their bodies into things but not people.

The short story called Hatchling was by far my favourite. A girl develops completely different personalities at different points of her life and then has to make a choice about who she is. Is this a fascinating tale of mental health OR a particularly nuanced exploration of conforming and societal pressure.

There is no one like Murata. She will definitely leave you with that feeling of what on earth did I just read but also this is brilliance personified. Love that it was short stories, which kept the pace and changed us the weirdness if that makes sense. 

Have you read Murata?

Swipe for some favourite passages to get a sense of what I mean – C

Ad: PR Gifted: Thank you so much @grantabooks for sending over a review copy

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