"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)
Vladimir Nabokov£12.99 £12.08
"I took a wonderful course on Nabokov my junior year at Bryn Mawr and really fell hard for the guy. We started with this memoir and I just love how extra he is. Speak, Memory is a masterclass on what memoir can be."
Alexander Chee£12.99 £12.08
"I just adore this collection of essays, practically half of my copy is underlined. Alexander Chee is an exceptional and unique voice."
M.F.K. Fisher£9.99 £9.29
"M.F.K Fisher is one of my favorite food writers of all time. She is just so charming and hilarious and delightful. I also learned where the phrase sea change comes from in this book."
Joan Didion£8.99 £8.36
"What a heartbreaking memoir on grief by the absolute GOAT. Joan Didion is singular and perfect."
MICHELLE ZAUNER£9.99 £9.29
"And of course there is me! My book is about mothers and daughters, grief and Korean food. I hope you’ll pick it up!"
Anthony Bourdain£12.99 £12.08
"I love this collection so much. Anthony Bourdain, among all his charms and talents, was truly an exceptional writer. Back to the Beach, one of the stories in this book, was a huge inspiration for my memoir."
Richard Ford£7.99 £7.43
"Richard Ford’s writing just really speaks to me. Rock Springs is one of my favorite short fiction collections of all time, and I love this memoir about his parents. I was inspired by the way he takes a magnifying glass to two outwardly ordinary people and makes them feel so extraordinary."
Viv Albertine£9.99 £9.29
"One of my favorite rock memoirs. Viv Albertine has led fifty lives."