Japanese Breakfast mastermind Michelle Zauner’s Crying In H Mart became a phenomenon upon its release in April. Now, following months of acclaim, the zeitgeist-grabbing bestseller is getting a film adaptation.
Per the Hollywood Reporter, the film adaptation of Zauner’s memoir —— itself an expansion of a heart-rending New Yorker essay the indie-pop multi hyphenate wrote in 2018 —will be produced by MGM’s Orion Pictures, which specializes in telling "underrepresented stories" and was recently purchased by Amazon when the streaming giant acquired MGM.
Japanese Breakfast, will provide the music for the film.
Written in the wake of the death of Zauner’s mother, the book is a reflection on Zauner’s Korean-American identity based around her experiences with her late mother in the popular Korean-American grocery chain, and a meditation on what it means to be Asian-American in an increasingly fraught country.
“Am I even Korean anymore if there’s no one left in my life to call and ask which brand of seaweed we used to buy?” she reflected in the original essay.
The book focuses on Zauner’s relationship with her terminal mother, her experiences as one of the only Asian-American kids in her Oregon hometown, visits to Seoul and her emergence into the East Coast indie scene, where she has been a figurehead since 2013.
It’s been a banner year for Zauner: Last week, Japanese Breakfast released its third album, Jubilee, which has garnered near universal praise.
Crying in H Mart struck a chord with its audience at a time when Asian-Americans are experiencing an onslaught of violence and racism. It will join Oscar-nominated Minari as a rare Asian-American story given the Hollywood studio treatment. That's as much a testament to the enduring and wide-spread appeal of Zauner’s story as it is a condemnation of how little Asian-American representation exists in the studio space.
No release date has been set fo Crying In H Mart.
Will Crying in H Mart stream on Amazon? Here are the details of the historic MGM purchase.