From Michelle Zauner, the indie rock sensation known as Japanese Breakfast, Crying in H Mart is an unforgettable memoir about family, food, grief, love, and growing up Korean American. Join us for a special SAL Presents conversation with Michelle Zauner, celebrating the memoir’s paperback publication. Q&A with Jane Park.
Create Your Own Series subscriptions, as well as Patron and Grand Patron single tickets, come with a copy of Crying in H Mart, shipped to the ticket holder’s door.
With humor and heart, Crying in H Mart, Zauner 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.
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). Her most recent album, Jubilee (2021), earned two GRAMMY nominations for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album. Her first book, Crying in H Mart, is a New York Times bestseller. She’s currently adapting the memoir for the screen for MGM’s Orion Pictures.
Jane Park, our moderator for the evening, is a former TV reporter based in the Pacific Northwest. She is proud to be a part of the AAPI community. As a second generation Korean American mom raising two kids, Jane loves to advocate for diversity and inclusion, equitable education, and community. Her content is often inspired by the daily joys and woes of parenting, and the real issues she navigates with her family.