Book Review: Crying in H-Mart: A Memoir by Michelle Zauner

Crying in H-Mart: A Memoir by Michelle Zauner. Knopf, 2021. 9780525657743. 256pp.

I’ve heard and read several interviews with Zauner since the book came out a few months back. My favorite is the one where she cooks with YouTube Korean cooking sensation Maangchi,in an event sponsored by Seattle’s Book Larder.

In the book, Zauner recounts the end of her Korean mother’s life, when she moved home to Eugene, Oregon, and helped care for her. Intermixed are moving stories about her and her mom and so many amazing descriptions of Korean food that it made me continuously sad and hungry. It’s worth noting there’s a lovely wedding in the book, too.

I had to read this book slowly. Most evenings I couldn’t get through more than five pages without breaking down. It constantly reminded me of going to the store with my Korean mother-in-law, who lived with us until she died a few years ago. People used to stare at us open-mouthed when we walked down grocery store aisles together, arm-in-arm, an embarrassed smile on her face because of my arsenal of Korean curse words.

It’s rare that memoirs feel so personal and close to home, and this is one of my favorites. I’m recommending it to everyone, and will be buying more than a few copies for birthdays in the coming years.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.