Junko Takase

May You Have Delicious Meals

May You Have Delicious Meals

Summary

WINNER OF THE 2022 AKUTAGAWA PRIZE

The power dynamics of the office are never more obvious than when it comes to food: mandatory lunches with the boss, the colleague who tries to curry favour with home-baked goods, discovering the discarded remnants of someone else's late-night binge . . .

In their Saitama office, Ashikawa is the kind of woman Nitani knows he will likely marry: sweet, obliging, and determined to wean him off his addiction to instant noodles. But he finds himself increasingly unable to respect her – or the sugary treats she shares around the workplace, winning their colleagues’ affection with baking rather than hard work.

Oshio is bolder and uninhibited – she is Nitani's drinking buddy. In the oppressive office atmosphere, the pair grows closer, both outsiders struggling with the rigid status quo.

Driven to behave in increasingly absurd ways by the workplace rules that govern their lives, they must navigate the tensions of modern life: between leisure and hard work; indulgence and restraint; the promise of delicious food, and the reality of a lonely pot noodle.