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"Ever since my mom died, I cry in H Mart," the first line read. Earlier this summer, I discovered Crying in H Mart ($16) while browsing online book recommendations, and admittedly, I had put off reading it for weeks. Having lost a close relative in February, I was anxious it would trigger my feelings of grief. I was in a better place by September, and upon the recommendation of a friend, I purchased it from a local bookstore.
The book explores the author Michelle Zauner's complicated relationship with her mom, going into detail about their love of food, particularly Korean cuisine. Filled with mouthwatering descriptions of classic Korean dishes, Crying in H Mart will simultaneously pull at your heartstrings and stimulate your taste buds. As the author narrated the many meals she shared with her late mother, I felt both hungry and sad. Zauner also touched on her experience as an Asian American growing up in Eugene, OR, and as a Haitian immigrant, I related to those instances of being "othered".
The book helped with my own healing process, as I was able to process my feelings through the author's recounting..
Diving into the pages felt like going through a therapy session that left me wanting to book a ticket to Korea and experience the food culture there. If you're looking for a beautifully written, heartwarming read, make sure to add Crying in H Mart to your list.