We are so happy to support Illinois Libraries Present as they host musician and author Michelle Zauner. She'll be discussing her music career and her beloved bestselling memoir, Crying in H Mart. with journalist and writer Jessica Hopper. This virtual program is free and open to the public. Click here to register
About the Book: "Zauner's storytelling is impeccable. Memories are rendered with a rich immediacy, as if bathed in a golden light. Zauner is also adept at mapping the contradictions in her relationship with, and perception of, her mother. The healing, connective power of food reverberates in nearly every chapter of this coming-of-age story, [in] sensuous descriptions . . . Heartfelt, searching, wise." --AV Club
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.
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.
About the Author: 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). Critically acclaimed Jubilee (2021) is currently nominated for two Grammy awards. Crying in H Mart is her first book.
Conversation Partner Jessica Hopper is a music critic, producer and author based in Chicago. In a career spanning more than twenty years, Hopper has earned acclaim as a provocative, fearless music journalist. She has written for, among others, GQ, Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, Elle, and the Chicago Reader. She is the author of The First Collection of Criticism By A Living Female Rock Critic and co-founded Golden Teapot, a production company specializing in music and culture documentary work,
This event is made possible by Illinois Libraries Present, a statewide collaboration among public libraries offering high-quality events. Funding for this grant was awarded by the Illinois State Library, a Department of the Office of Secretary of State, using funds provided by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR • NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • From the indie rockstar of Japanese Breakfast fame, and author of the viral 2018 New Yorker essay that shares the title of this book, an unflinching, powerful memoir about growing up Korean American, losing her mother, and forging her own identity.
"Jessica Hopper's criticism is a trenchant and necessary counterpoint not just on music, but on our culture at large." —Annie Clark, St. Vincent
An acclaimed, career-spanning collection from a fiercely feminist and revered contemporary rock critic, reissued with new material