I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki: the South Korean hit therapy memoir recommended by BTS’s RM (Hardcover)

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I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki: the South Korean hit therapy memoir recommended by BTS’s RM By Baek Sehee, Anton Hur (Translated by) Cover Image
By Baek Sehee, Anton Hur (Translated by)
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Staff Reviews

Each spring in grade school, we had to observe the Stations of the Cross. Painful scenes from the last few days of Jesus' life, as it was written in the gospels, were interspersed with soft-spoken lessons to extract from his suffering. I Want to Die took me right back to that church pew. Baek's conversations with her therapist and subsequent reflections echo the relaxed ebb and flow of my thoughts during those days: "Am I a good person? Does anyone else feel this way?" Her intimate confessions reveal the fundamental self-doubt we all experience and serves as a reminder: YOU MATTER.-Brendan

— From Fall Booknotes 2022


The South Korean runaway bestseller, debut author Baek Sehee's intimate therapy memoir, as recommended by BTS.

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 yen 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.

About the Author

Born in 1990, Baek Sehee studied creative writing in university before working for five years at a publishing house. For ten years, she received psychiatric treatment for dysthymia (persistent mild depression), which became the subject of her essays, and then I Want to Die, but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki, books one and two. Her favorite food is tteokbokki, and she lives with her rescue dog Jaram.

Praise For…

“At once personal and universal, this book is about finding a path to awareness, understanding, and wisdom.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Honest and authentic throughout . . . A sincere attempt at self-discovery that will resonate with young people who suffer from similar forms of depression and anxiety” —Library Journal

“Candid . . . heartfelt . . . Sehee's mission to normalize conversation about mental illness is an admirable one.” —Publishers Weekly

“A testament to the gradual nature of therapy's cumulative healing effects, I Want to Die should resonate with anyone who eagerly transcribes every nugget of advice they get.” —Buzzfeed

“Earnest . . . clever . . . [Baek Sehee] uses months of (real) transcripts from her therapy sessions to explore her own depression and anxiety, always tiptoeing toward something like self-awareness.” —Chicago Tribune

“An eye-opening view into a person's most vulnerable moments in a new way.” —Cosmopolitan

“With candor and humor, Baek offers readers and herself resonant moments of empathy.” —Booklist

Product Details
ISBN: 9781635579383
ISBN-10: 1635579384
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication Date: November 1st, 2022
Pages: 208
Language: English