There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job is the first book I read by award-winning author Kikuko Tsumura. I read this novel fondly, even though it was quite an odd book that was beyond my expectations.
There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job is about the memories of a woman in her thirties in various jobs. While you will witness how there are many interesting jobs in Japan, you will also reflect on working and work life. There is also a subject that puts the book in a different place; our never-ending search for meaning in life and the need for human relationships everywhere.
This is a book that I think Japanese literature and culture enthusiasts will love to read. I highly recommend it. Enjoy!
There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job
A young woman walks into an employment agency and requests a job that has the following traits: it is close to her home, and it requires no reading, no writing – and ideally, very little thinking.
She is sent to a nondescript 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 can be so inconvenient and tiresome. 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…
Kikuko Tsumura is a Japanese writer from Osaka. She has won numerous Japanese literary awards, including the Akutagawa Prize, the Noma Literary New Face Prize, the Dazai Osamu Prize, the Kawabata Yasunari Prize, and the Oda Sakunosuke Prize.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: