National Indie Bestseller
World Literature Today Notable Translation of the Year
Salon Favorite Book of the Year
The South Korean runaway bestseller, an intimate therapy memoir translated by International Booker Prize shortlisted Anton Hur.
PSYCHIATRIST: So how can I help you?
ME: I don't know, I'm – what's the word – depressed? Do I have to go into detail?
Baek Sehee is a successful young social media director at a publishing house when she begins seeing a psychiatrist about her - what to call it? - depression? She feels persistently low, anxious, endlessly self-doubting, but also highly judgmental of others. She hides her feelings well at work and with friends, performing the calmness her lifestyle demands. The effort is exhausting, overwhelming, and keeps her from forming deep relationships. This can't be normal. But if she's so hopeless, why can she always summon a desire for her favorite street food: the hot, spicy rice cake, tteokbokki? Is this just what life is like?
Recording her dialogues with her psychiatrist over a twelve-week period, and expanding on each session with her own reflective micro-essays, Baek begins to disentangle the feedback loops, knee-jerk reactions, and harmful behaviors that keep her locked in a cycle of self-abuse. Part memoir, part self-help book, I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki is a book to keep close and to reach for in times of darkness. It will appeal to anyone who has ever felt alone or unjustified in their everyday despair.