Taste Like War

Tastes Like War: A Memoir

The Feminist Press at CUNY
May 18, 2021
May 14, 2023 May 17, 2023

Grace M. Cho grew up as the daughter of a white American merchant marine and the Korean bar hostess he met abroad. They were one of few immigrants in a xenophobic small town during the Cold War, where identity was politicized by everyday details—language, cultural references, memories, and food. When Grace was fifteen, her dynamic mother experienced the onset of schizophrenia, a condition that would continue and evolve for the rest of her life.

Part food memoir, part sociological investigation, Tastes Like War is a hybrid text about a daughter’s search through intimate and global history for the roots of her mother’s schizophrenia. In her mother’s final years, Grace learned to cook dishes from her parent’s childhood in order to invite the past into the present, and to hold space for her mother’s multiple voices at the table. And through careful listening over these shared meals, Grace discovered not only the things that broke the brilliant, complicated woman who raised her—but also the things that kept her alive.

About the book

Memoir of a Korean-American who tells her story, but above all of her mother and how her (mother’s) life contributed to her illness.

Continue reading “Taste Like War”

1 Litre of Tears

, ,

April 21, 2023 April 22, 2023
, ,

In the vast Asian world, Kito Aya's diary has enjoyed unstoppable success: published in the late 1980s in Japan, it has sold over a million copies. A crowded audience for the first-person story of a fifteen-year-old girl who inspired and enchanted an entire continent. Aya talks about ten years of her life, she talks about adolescence and the beginning of adulthood, a life like many others, but without perspective, an existence undermined by illness, that's the difference. And here is enclosed the power of these pages: in the rebellion, in the irony, in the fragility that turns into strength, which make Aya a symbol, a cult figure. Because, beyond her particular condition, she managed to shout in a clear voice what it means to grow up, and to count how many tears it takes to face defeats.

About the book

Heartbreaking story of a girl who is diagnosed with a rare and degenerative disease.

Continue reading “1 Litre of Tears”