From the indie rockstar of Japanese Breakfast fame, and author of the viral 2018 New Yorker essay that shares the title of this book, an unflinching, powerful memoir about growing up Korean American, losing her mother, and forging her own identity.
In this exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer, songwriter, and guitarist. With humor and heart, she tells of growing up one of the few Asian American kids at her school in Eugene, Oregon; of struggling with her mother's particular, high expectations of her; of a painful adolescence; of treasured months spent in her grandmother's tiny apartment in Seoul, where she and her mother would bond, late at night, over heaping plates of food. As she grew up, moving to the East Coast for college, finding work in the restaurant industry, and performing gigs with her fledgling band--and meeting the man who would become her husband--her Koreanness began to feel ever more distant, even as she found the life she wanted to live. It was her mother's diagnosis of terminal cancer, when Michelle was twenty-five, that forced a reckoning with her identity and brought her to reclaim the gifts of taste, language, and history her mother had given her.
Vivacious and plainspoken, lyrical and honest, Zauner's voice is as radiantly alive on the page as it is onstage. Rich with intimate anecdotes that will resonate widely, Crying in H Mart is a book to cherish, share, and reread.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Indie rocker Michelle Zauner went viral in 2017 with a New Yorker essay about mourning her Korean-born mother in the aisles of her favorite Asian-American supermarket. Zauner’s memoir expands on that story with a deeply emotional series of vignettes about growing up as a mixed-race child in Eugene, Oregon. We follow Zauner as she bonds with her traditionally minded mother over their shared love of Korean food and watch them grow apart when she pursues a music career against her mom’s wishes. Delivered in a straightforward reading that’s as beautifully unadorned as her this-is-what-happened prose, Zauner’s book is full of vivid moments. Her depiction of her mother’s sudden illness and death is devastating, although her stories about the rom-com-like scramble to marry her grad-student boyfriend while her mom is still around had us laughing through the tears. It’s when Zauner talks about eating and preparing food that Crying in H Mart becomes more than just another memoir about loss. It’s also a celebration of pleasure, experience, and life that’ll leave you with a serious craving for bulgogi and bibimbap.
Recognizable in a way
It’s recognizable, the raw and pure emotions and the cultural differences in a household. Sad but that’s okay, we all are sad with loss (both mom and dad in a way) and some regret, and coming to terms with it all.
Only listen if you want to sob for 87% of it .
This book was to me a little misleading as the whole entire thing is about her moms place in her life and her painful slow death. When reading the description I thought it would be a little less about her mom and a little more about her whole life. But her mom was her whole life so it makes sense. I felt really bad for her the whole time and am sending my condolences. The tone of this book is super sad even when talking about happy things. Good story just be prepared that it is very sad.