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One Book One Northwestern


Northwestern University's One Book One Northwestern selection committee is seeking recommendations for the 2024-2025 academic year. Book suggestions should include the title, author, number of pages, summary, and a brief description of why this book would make an excellent common read. Submit questions to One Book One Northwestern at

Submit suggestions here.

The deadline for submittals is Monday, Nov. 20, 2023.

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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Upcoming Events


"From Tears to Cheers": H Mart Korean Snack Sale

11:00 AM Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive
Join the Korean American Student Association at Norris and the Rock for a flavor-packed journey through the aisles of H ...

Exploring 'Crying in H Mart': Case Studies for Facilitating Meaningful Dialogue in the Classroom

10:00 AM
Navigating complex topics like grief, family dynamics, and cultural identities in a classroom setting can feel overwhelm...

EXPLORING IDENTITY & FAMILY STORIES THROUGH FOOD: Dittmar Dinner with author, journalist and Professor Cheryl Tan

5:30 PM Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive
Join us for a buffet dinner and talk with Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, Medill's inaugural George R.R. Martin Chair in Storytellin...

HANA Center Field Trip

10:30 AM 4300 N California Ave
Join One Book and the Asian American Studies program to visit HANA Center in Chicago. HANA Center is a Chicagoland immig...

On US-North Korea Relations: A Conversation with Dr. Jung Pak

5:00 PM Harris Hall, 1881 Sheridan Road
On Monday November 13 from 5-6:30pm, join us for a special conversation on US-North Korea relations with Dr. Jung Pak, t...

“We Are Waiting For You: Grief and Loss in the Korean Diaspora” by Dr. Jinah Kim (CSU, North Ridge)

5:00 PM Harris Hall, 1881 Sheridan Road
Part of the One Book, One Northwestern event series surrounding Michelle Zauner’s Crying in H Mart, this talk examines t...


Nancy M. Cunniff


During her tenure, Nancy Cunniff has elevated the “One Book” brand to become a signature University program involving the entire campus.
Meet Nancy M. Cunniff
Faculty Chair OBON 23-24


One Book One Northwestern is excited to announce that the One Book faculty chair for 2023-24 is Ji-Yeon Yuh, a historian of diaspora and international migration, an expert in Asian American history and the Korean diaspora, and professor of history in the Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.
Meet Ji-Yeon Yuh
Alison Choi


This year, One Book One Northwestern's graduate assistant is Alison Choi, a third-year PhD student in the History Department at Northwestern. Alison studies Korean diasporic cultural production, and assists Nancy Cunniff and Ji-Yeon Yuh in running the 2023-24 One Book One Northwestern events.
Meet Alison Choi
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The One Book fellows and ambassadors are integral to the running of the One Book program. The fellows are paid to help run the office on a weekly basis by working on the newsletter, website, social media and marketing. The ambassadors assist with events throughout the academic year as needed. All students contribute to the blog and are readers of several books for the selection of next year's common read program.

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