Crying in H Mart: Book summary and reviews of Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

Crying in H Mart

by Michelle Zauner

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner X
Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A tender, well-rendered, heart-wrenching account of the way food ties us to those who have passed." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"The prose is lyrical if at times overwrought, but Zauner does a good job capturing the grief of losing a parent with pathos. Fans looking to get a glimpse into the inner life of this megawatt pop star will not be disappointed." - Publishers Weekly

"The book's descriptions of jjigae, tteokbokki, and other Korean delicacies stand out as tokens of the deep, all-encompassing love between Zauner and her mother, a love that is charted in vivid descriptions of her mother after death; in a time when people around the world are reckoning with untold loss due to COVID-19, Zauner's frankness around death feels like an unexpected yet deeply necessary gift." - Vogue

"A candid, moving tribute to her mother, to her identity, and to our collective desire for connection in this often alienating world...Zauner's writing is powerful in its straight-forwardness, though some turns of phrases are as beautiful as any song lyric... but it is her ability to convey how her mother's simple offering of a rice snack was actually an act of the truest love that leaves the most indelible impression." - Refinery29

"Crying in H Mart is palpable in its grief and its tenderness, reminding us what we all stand to lose." - Vulture

I've been waiting for this book since reading Zauner's incandescent short piece about grieving her mother's death. Zauner, who is also known as the indie rockstar Japanese Breakfast, has written a memoir about food, mourning, race, music, and Koreanness." - R.O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries

"I read Crying in H Mart with my heart in my throat. In this beautifully written memoir, Michelle Zauner has created a gripping, sensuous portrait of an indelible mother-daughter bond that hits all the notes: love, friction, loyalty, grief. All mothers and daughters will recognize themselves—and each other—in these pages." - Dani Shapiro, author of Inheritance

"Crying in H Mart is a wonder: A beautiful, deeply moving coming-of-age story about mothers and daughters, love and grief, food and identity. It blew me away, even as it broke my heart." – Adrienne Brodeur, author of Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me

This information about Crying in H Mart shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Michelle Zauner

Michelle Zauner is best known as a singer and guitarist who creates dreamy, shoegaze-inspired indie pop under the name Japanese Breakfast. She has won acclaim from major music outlets around the world for releases like Psychopomp (2016) and Soft Sounds from Another Planet (2017).

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