ONE BOOK PHOTO CONTEST
Michelle Zauner’s Crying in H Mart connects with themes of family and home. The photos in our photo contest depict food and family, whether biological or chosen.
2023-24 One Book Selection
"Crying in H Mart" by Michelle Zauner
One Book One Northwestern is pleased to announce that the One Book selection for 2023-24 is "Crying in H Mart" by Michelle Zauner. Best known as the singer and guitarist who creates dreamy, shoegaze-inspired indie pop under the name Japanese Breakfast, Zauner became a bestselling author in 2021 when her book about the loss of her mother, their shared love for Korean food and being biracial as an Asian American rocketed to the top of the New York Times Bestsellers list. History and Asian American Studies Professor Ji-Yeon Yuh will be the One Book faculty Chair. Zauner will be on both the Chicago and Evanston campuses October 18, 2023.
Message from Faculty Chair Ji-Yeon Yuh
Coming of age in one's twenties is hard enough, but add caring for your dying mother into the mix and it can feel like losing one's very moorings. With "Crying in H Mart," singer and songwriter Michelle Zauner transforms her heartbreak into a haunting meditation on love, family, and grief. The leader of the band Japanese Breakfast, she awakens the reader's sensory imagination with lyrical descriptions of the food that binds her to her mother and her immigrant heritage as a mixed Korean American. In mourning and thereby rediscovering her mother, she comes to understand her own personhood in all its dazzling depth and diversity. Showcasing seemingly small observations about food, childhood, and caring for a dying mother, she evokes emotions and paints pictures of an intense mother-daughter relationship that is both unique and universal. Indeed, her journey of loss, reclamation, and self-discovery is universal in its themes while specific in its individuality.
In our continuing covid times when death hovers around us, for families realigning relationships as grown children leave home or perhaps return home and as loved ones die, for all of us grappling with the changes and setbacks of life, "Crying in H Mart" offers a vision of resilience, grace, and enduring love. For Northwestern's multiple, diverse communities, it is the right book at the right time.
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