NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • A Best Book of 2021: Entertainment Weekly, Good Morning America, Wall Street Journal, and more
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, and complete with family photos, 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. Her 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 then watch them grow apart when she pursues a music career against her mom’s wishes. (Her dream-pop band Japanese Breakfast makes a perfect reading soundtrack.) Zauner’s vivid depiction of her mother’s sudden illness and death is devastating, though her rom-com-like scramble to marry her grad-student boyfriend while her mom is still alive 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 a celebration of pleasure, experience, and life that’ll leave you with a serious craving for bulgogi and bibimbap.
Motivational speaker Doyle (Love Warrior) writes of divorcing her husband, finding love with Olympic soccer player Abby Wambach, and coming out to family and fans in this inspirational memoir. Doyle's previous book concerned her attempt to heal her strained relationship with her husband, Craig, after she learned he cheated on her, and here she picks up the narrative a few years later, as she starts fresh with the attitude that it's better to disappoint other people than to disappoint oneself. She talks about meeting Abby, while still married to Craig, at a book conference and instantly falling for her ("I put my hand on her arm. Electrical currents"), dissolving her marriage and raising her three kids in a blended family with Abby and Craig, and pulling back from her Christian faith. "I will not stay, not ever again in a room or conversation or relationship or institution that requires me to abandon myself," Doyle declares. The book is filled with hopeful messages and encourages women to reject the status quo and follow their intuition. "It's a lifelong battle for a woman to stay whole and free in a world hell bent on caging her," she writes. This testament to female empowerment and self-love, with an endearing coming-out story at the center, will delight readers.
One of the best books I have ever read.
Absolutely amazing. This book changed my life for the better.
Powerful, poignant, personal
A privilege to be able to read a very personal painful journey of navigating the complexity of mother-daughter relationship, growing up in a small town, finding oneself when mixed raced