The best-selling author of All You Can Ever Know is back with a new book that The New York Times Book Review calls “a transcendent memoir about family, class, and the contours of loss.” Her book, A Living Remedy (April 4th) has been named a Best Book of the Year by over twenty outlets! In her memoir, Chung explores family bonds and how they are affected by tragedy and hardship, while shedding light on many of the issues and inequalities that are persistent in America.
Nicole Chung grew up in a predominately white Oregon town, and couldn’t leave fast enough. When she moved to the East Coast as a scholarship student at a private university, she quickly found a community that she had been longing for, and finally wasn’t the only Korean she knew. As she begins to develop a life there, she witnesses the contrast in the middle class life that she grew up in, where paychecks were stretched and the safety net of college funds and wealth were nonexistent. When her father passes away from disease and diabetes that Chung knows could have been remedied over time with proper accessible healthcare, she is enraged and deeply bereft. When her mother is diagnosed with cancer less than a year later, the grief is unthinkable, and Covid-19 restrictions only worsen the ache that distance causes.
Nicole Chung was born and raised in the PNW, but now resides in the Washington D.C. area. She is a contributing writer at The Atlantic, a Time contributor, a Slate columnist, and her work has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, GQ, The Cut, and Vulture.
Don’t miss our exclusive interview with Nicole Chung>>
A book I am currently reading: A Line in the World: A Year on the North Sea Coast by Dorthe Nors
A book I recommend to everyone: Breathe: A Letter to My Sons by Imani Perry
A favorite book from last year: Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty
A book whose author I would love to have lunch with: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
A book that made me realize language had power: Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
A book I’d like to see adapted for the screen: If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim
A book that made me cry while reading it: Memorial by Bryan Washington
A book that has the most gorgeous cover: Gods of Want by K-Ming Chang
The book with the best opening line: oh, man, this proved to be the toughest question! I love and often think about the layers of meaning in Min Jin Lee’s opening sentence in Pachinko: “History has failed us, but no matter.”
A favorite bookstore: Again, far too many to name, but I’ve got to shout out one of my locals, Loyalty Books, who graciously set up a signed preorder campaign for me and will also be hosting my DC launch with DC Public Library. And on the opposite coast, I adore all three Third Place Books stores in Seattle—they were some of the first bookstores I visited to sign stock as a debut author in 2018, so they have a special place in my heart; plus the team there has been incredibly kind and supportive of both my books.
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