Sayaka Murata was a visiting author from Japan for the TIFA 2018 (Toronto International Festival of Authors). Her novel コンビニ人間 Konbini Ningen was awarded Akutagawa Prize for Literature in 2016. In 2018 it was translated in English as Convenience Store Woman, as well as being translated in German, French, Korean and Taiwanese.
On Friday October 26, 2018 the Japan Foundation, Toronto hosted a panel discussion entitled “What is Normal? In Conversation with Sayaka Murata”. Along with writer and translator Jocelyne Allen, and interpreter Chieko Bond, Sayaka Murata discussed her writing process and recurring themes in her work: nonconformity, gender roles, societal views on women in their late 30s, and of course Japanese convenience store.