From indie rock band Japanese Breakfast’s creator Michelle Zauner comes this beautiful, heart-breaking memoir about the loss of her mother and her journey to self-discovery.
An only child of an American father and a Korean mother, Zauner draws us into a childhood where she longs to be ‘more American’ and yet is desperate her mother’s approval. We journey with her through turbulent teen years and early twenties, on summer trips to Korea to visit extended family, and into the heart of intricate Korean recipes synonymous with home. Throughout it all runs a common thread: a back-and-forth tennis match of a relationship with her mother, one of affection, rebellion, respect, and disdain.
But at 25, Zauner gets the phone call: her mother has been diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. Zauner puts her music career on hold to move back home, hoping for the best, but desperate to glean every last bit of the Korean heritage of which she once felt ashamed.
This is a vulnerable, honest portrait of one woman’s grief journey. With gorgeous prose and glimmers of humor in an otherwise dark tale, Zauner captures the complexity of the mother-daughter relationship, the struggle to find identity, and most of all, celebrates the Korean food her mother made and the bond it forged between them.
Photo: Calum Lewis
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