Before her viral essay grappling with the death of her mother and Korean American identity, Michelle Zauner was best known for her work as a musician—she’s released two albums and toured the world with her Philadelphia-based band, Japanese Breakfast. (The band’s third album, Jubilee, is set for release this June.) Her book Crying in H Mart: A Memoir, which is out today, channels the ethos of her songwriting while probing the nature of grief and what happens when the string that ties us to an identity is suddenly severed.
“You’re a sensitive person, and you lean into quiet ordinary moments and conflate them with meaning,” she says. “That is the nature of what I do, I think. It’s always made sense to kind of rock in and out of these different mediums.”
The opening chapter of the book is her 2018 essay for The New Yorker