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. ([source](https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/612676/crying-in-h-mart-by-michelle-zauner/))
Reviews with the most likes.
Sure there were some good bits, but Idk why, I just never managed to really get into this book.
My goodness this was devastating. Beautiful and visceral, but devastating. Zauner writes about her relationship to her mother through the experience of cancer, but more so through the experience of food, and how that connected her to her mother and Korean identity.. If the old adage about the stomach being the way to one's heart, this book proves it. It has a slow start but once it picks up, it takes a firm grip on your heart (and stomach) and doesn't let go until long after you're done (so much so that I went on a special trip to H-Mart the very day I finished it!).
“What we're looking for isn't available at Trader Joe's. H Mart is where your people gather under one odorous roof, full of faith that they'll find something they can't find anywhere else.”
The author relates her story about growing up Korean American in a way that anyone, of any background, can find something in. She grew up in Oregon to a demanding mother, struck out on her own after troubled teenage years, and then returns to care for the same mom as she's fighting cancer. It's an honest look at self-image, grief, and identity that I absolutely loved to read.
Her way of writing was stellar even as she described the many different faces of grief and loss, and while I don't really cry from books, this one brought me close. And, I know this is a weird thing to bring up in a sober review like this, but the food descriptions? Like, 5 stars, easy. 6 stars. All the stars.
Highly recommend giving this a read. Incredibly moving, incredibly powerful.