In conversation with Homay King
The lead vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist of the indie rock outfit Japanese Breakfast, Michelle Zauner has garnered wide acclaim for her shoegaze-inspired pop earworms. These works include Psychopomp, Soft Sounds from Another Planet, and her 2021 breakthrough album Jubilee, for which she received Grammy Award nominations for Best Alternative Music Album and Best New Artist. Zauner is also the author of Crying in H Mart, a memoir based on her viral 2018 New Yorker essay of the same name. A New York Times bestseller and selected as one of 2021’s best books by a wide range of periodicals, it offers an honest perspective on her identity as a Korean American, the death of her mother, and the struggles of her early musical career. She is currently adapting this memoir into a screenplay for MGM Studios.
Homay King is Professor of History of Art at Bryn Mawr College. She is the author of Lost in Translation: Orientalism, Cinema, and the Enigmatic Signifier and Virtual Memory: Time-based Art and the Dream of Digitality, both from Duke University Press. Her essays have appeared in Afterall, Discourse, Film Quarterly, October, and elsewhere, including the catalogue for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s China: Through the Looking Glass. She is a member of the Camera Obscura editorial collective. Currently, she is working on a book project entitled Go West: A Mythology of California’s Silicon Valley, for which she was awarded an Ailsa Mellon Bruce Visiting Senior Fellowship at the National Gallery of Art.