Proofreader Girl

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Proofreader Girl
Author: Ayako Miyagi
Specifications: ISBN  978-4040663630
222 pages
13.0 x 18.9 cm / 5.2 x 7.5 in (WxH)
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Kadokawa Corporation
Tokyo, 2014
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A volume of linked stories featuring a young woman who works in the Proofreading Department at a major publishing house.

Our heroine is the 24-year-old Etsuko Kōno. It is now two years since she joined the publisher Keibonsha after graduating from a women’s university that caters to the pampered daughters of well-to-do families. Etsuko grew up reading Keibonsha’s magazines from the time she was in elementary school, and it was through their pages that she had cultivated her sense of fashion. During her student years she was a particular fan of the company’s Lassy, a magazine targeted primarily at young working women, which she read cover to cover. Dreaming of a chance to help edit a fashion magazine herself, she had applied to Keibonsha, even though she knew it was an almost impossible long shot for someone with her academic background. The job offer she subsequently received came as both a surprise and a delight, but then somewhat to her disappointment she learned her position was to be in the Proofreading Department.

There was a reason she’d been able to garner an offer from a major house that usually drew all its new recruits from top-ranked universities: the head of the Proofreading Department had been impressed by her prodigious memory—though it should be noted that her unusual powers of recall actually applied only to articles that had appeared in Keibonsha’s fashion magazines. Just two other women were recruited by Keibonsha that year: Morio, who landed a place in the Fashion Magazine Department, and Fujiiwa, who was assigned to Literary Publications. The continuing threads that run through the linked stories center on Etsuko’s efforts to win a transfer into the Fashion Magazine Department, and the ups and downs related to an unrequited love interest.

Work in the Proofreading Department calls for sitting at her desk and concentrating intensely on the pages in front of her from 9 AM to 6 PM. Her boss assures Etsuko that the better she performs at her assigned tasks here, the better her chances of having a transfer approved, but initially she has a hard time working up an interest in the works of fiction directed her way, which she finds utterly dull. Then the editor of a book she is proofing, a senior colleague in the Literary Department, asks her to accompany him on a night out entertaining big-name author Daisaku Hongō. As it happens, Hongō takes a shine to Etsuko, and she is soon caught up in a series of incidents in which Hongō’s wife, who constantly suspects him of cheating on her, disappears, then Hongō himself goes missing as well.

The man Etsuko falls in love with is also linked with one of her proofreading jobs. She is at a café near the office one day when she sees a gorgeous young man with afro hair walk in, and she is instantly smitten. After leaving the café, the young man goes into the Keibonsha building, and lo and behold, it turns out that he is none other than Koreyuki Korenaga, an anonymous author whose new book she had proofed just a few days before. Besides writing books, Korenaga also works as a fashion model. When Etsuko makes bold to introduce herself to him, he thanks her for her proofreading labors, and she even manages to win a date with him for Valentine’s Day—but then all manner of problems begin popping up for her at work . . .

Besides the engaging details of working for a publisher, the episodes are stuffed to overflowing with a love story, fashion interest, gourmet cuisine, and more. Yet narrated as they are in the light, brisk style author Ayako Miyagi has become known for, the installments never seem overburdened. Miyagi has created an appealing new heroine who, while suffering from a tendency to recklessness, wins our hearts with her dauntless determination.