Crying in H Mart is a powerful memoir detailing the author’s unique life experiences. The title comes from Zauner’s memories of crying in the aisles of the Asian grocery store, remembering the dishes her mom used to make. She describes her childhood and her teenage years as a Korean-American, caring for her cancer-stricken mother, and even provides some insights as to the beginnings of her music career. Among the details of her childhood are mouth-watering descriptions of her mother’s cooking as well as important lessons about appreciating your parents before they’re gone. The author recounts a journey from motherly love to teenage angst and parent-detesting to early 20s distance and finally, back to acceptance and love when there’s barely any time left.
This fascinating and mighty read is less than 300 pages, but they are pages that I’ll never forget. Apart from being a fan of Zauner’s band, Japanese Breakfast, I also found comfort in her descriptions of her parents and life, as well as our shared experiences of growing up mixed-race. I was a bit surprised with how the memoir turned out, as it didn’t exactly fit my expectations of what it was going to be like, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It inspired a greater appreciation for my own mother and family, and I would recommend it to just about anyone -whether they are a fan of Japanese Breakfast, dealing with loss themselves, mixed-race, a lover of Korean food, or just looking for something new to read.