In Scout’s 2019 interview with Michelle Zauner (a.k.a. frontwoman of Japanese Breakfast, who was set to perform in Mandaluyong City hours after), she talked to us about her late mother’s impact on her work, creating connections, and her relationship with music with so much vulnerability.
Two years later, that same vulnerability would reign in her memoir “Crying in H Mart,” which delves into her growing up as Korean-American, grief, food and culture, and finding identity. This also serves as an extension of Michelle’s essay published in The New Yorker in 2018 with the same title.
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If you happen to have picked up the book and spent a piece of tissue or two, you can prepare for round two—because “Crying in H Mart” is turning into a film. Usually, adaptation news like this leaves us with indifference, but it’s exciting to know that Japanese-British multi-hyphenate creative Will Sharpe of “The White Lotus” will be sitting in the director’s chair, as reported by People.
“I was a fan of Michelle’s music and found ‘Crying In H Mart’ to be a beautiful, relatable work of light handed honesty,” said Will in a statement to NBC News. According to People, the director also found the work “universal with its specificity” and that some experiences resonated with him “as somebody who is half-Japanese, half-British” and with a Tokyo childhood.
Meanwhile, Michelle has expressed confidence in Will helming the adaptation, as finding someone to trust with the story was a “daunting task” considering its personal aspects. “I believe his sensitivity, as a director and an actor, and his own personal experience, having grown up between two cultures, will be tremendous assets,” Michelle said, as reported by NBC News. The Hollywood Reporter previously revealed in 2021 that Michelle would adapt “Crying in H Mart” into a screenplay for Orion Pictures.
The film is set to be produced by Stacey Sher and Jason Kim, with Michelle also playing a part in the film’s music. Speaking of that, consider this a sign to give her discography an exploration if you haven’t yet–there’s a reason why her latest album “Jubilee” was included in our 2021 year-ender list.
“Crying in H Mart” book cover photo from Penguin Random House/Knopf, design by Na Kim
Photo on the right from Japanese Breakfast’s Instagram profile