Michelle Zauner’s ‘Crying in H Mart’ announced as 2023-24 One Book One Northwestern selection


Illustration by Joanna Hou

“Crying in H Mart” is the first-ever One Book selection written by an Asian author.

Joanna Hou, Campus Editor

Michelle Zauner’s “Crying in H Mart: A Memoir” is One Book One Northwestern’s 2023-24 selection, the program announced Monday. 

Zauner’s memoir focuses on her struggles navigating her Korean American identity as she also takes care of her mother, who is dying of cancer. Through retelling childhood memories, she paints a nuanced portrait of her relationship with her mother, one complicated by attempts to connect with her Korean heritage even after her mother’s death. 

“Away from home for the first time, many college students are now learning to navigate a new phase in their relationship with their parents, which can be a challenge with newfound independence,” the One Book fellow application reads. “‘Crying in H Mart’ allows us to connect around themes of belonging.” 

“Crying in H Mart” also explores the importance of food in bonding families and communities. The memoir was on The New York Times’ hardcover nonfiction bestseller list for 60 weeks after its release in 2021. 

All freshman and transfer students will receive free electronic copies of the memoir, which is also the University’s first One Book selection written by an Asian author.

Zauner is also the lead singer of alternative pop band Japanese Breakfast, best known for songs like “Be Sweet” and “Boyish.”

The One Book fellow application is open until April 21. Ambassador positions will open in fall.

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Twitter: @joannah_11

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