Happier Podcast Book Club: “Crying in H Mart” by Michelle Zauner

Gretchen with Crying in H Mart book
 We’ve picked our next book for the Happier Podcast Book Club: Crying in H Mart, the brilliant memoir by Michelle Zauner (AmazonBookshop). Michelle Zauner is well-known as the indie rockstar of Japanese Breakfast fame. In 2018, she wrote a New Yorker essay, “Crying in H Mart,” that generated a tremendous amount of buzz. Crying in H Mart was an instant New York Times bestseller and named a “best book” by many publications. Here’s the official description:
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.
By the way, “H Mart” is the name of a very popular Korean-American supermarket chain. These days, of course, we won’t be able to meet in a studio, but through the wonders of technology Michelle Zauner will join Elizabeth and me to talk about her memoir for episode 334 of the Happier podcast airing July 14, 2021. So get reading! Or listening. Do you love audiobooks? Elizabeth has been listening to a lot of audiobooks lately. What are your questions or insights about the book? Add them in the comments, or share them on social media using #happierpodcastbookclub, and we’ll incorporate them into the interview. And remember, #Read21in21! It’s been thrilling to hear from so many people who have reestablished a habit of reading. Remember: whenever it is and wherever you are, there’s always a book waiting for you.



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