I spent much of the past four years devouring memoirs in preparation for writing one of my own. I was delighted to discover the genre can take so many forms, can stretch just as imaginatively and in as many different directions as fiction, that the honesty and vulnerability inherent in the form possesses the potential to knock you back, to move and change you in a way entirely its own.
It felt fitting to compile this collection of my favorite memoirs, each of which touches on a theme fundamental to my own book: the joie de vivre and unctuous detail of food writing; the grit and passion that accompanies a music memoir; the raw, ravaging devastation of grief; the ineluctable disappointments and charmed gifts of inheritance. Below you’ll find some incredible books by some of my favorite writers who inspired Crying in H Mart and left a lasting impact on my psyche.
—Michelle Zauner, aka Japanese Breakfast
Photo by Barbora Mrazkova (@barboramrazkova)