Nerdette Book Club: ‘Crying in H Mart’

A copy of Michelle Zauner’s “Crying in H Mart” lies next to a bowl of tofu bulgogi and Korean sushi rolls.
Hello, please bow down to episode guest (and expert plater) Kari Herrera, who took this mouthwatering photo for us. We are not worthy!!! Photo: Kari Herrera
A copy of Michelle Zauner’s “Crying in H Mart” lies next to a bowl of tofu bulgogi and Korean sushi rolls.
Hello, please bow down to episode guest (and expert plater) Kari Herrera, who took this mouthwatering photo for us. We are not worthy!!! Photo: Kari Herrera

Nerdette Book Club: ‘Crying in H Mart’

This month, we’re doing something we rarely do and diving into a memoir. Crying in H Mart is a bittersweet story about loss and the complicated bonds that tie family together, all told through the lenses of Korean culture and lots of food.

Author Michelle Zauner rarely saw eye to eye with her mother Chongmi — that is, until Chongmi was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Chongmi didn’t live to see her daughter become an international touring sensation as the frontwoman of the band Japanese Breakfast, whose 2016 debut album featured Chongmi on the cover. But Zauner pushed herself to write the memoir (and the New Yorker essay which preceded it) to “warn” others about what it’s like to watch a parent be ravaged by illness. “I was very upset at the world that it didn’t prepare me for the experience I had,” she told the hosts of the podcast K-Pod.

Discussing Zauner’s memoir with us are Lit Society Pod co-hosts Kari Herrera and Alexis Honoria. We talk about the parts of the book that will stay with us forever, our favorite food memories, and why you should take caution before recommending this book to the bereaved.