THE PHENOMENAL KOREAN BESTSELLER
TRANSLATED BY INTERNATIONAL BOOKER SHORTLISTEE 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 judgemental of others. She hides her feelings well at work and with friends; adept at performing the calmness, even ease, 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 favourite street food, the hot, spicy rice cake, tteokbokki? Is this just what life is like?
Recording her dialogues with her psychiatrist over a 12-week period, Baek begins to disentangle the feedback loops, knee-jerk reactions and harmful behaviours 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.
'An eye-opening view into a person's most vulnerable moments in a new way' Cosmopolitan
'I Want to Die... has been a huge bestseller in Korea and will strike a chord with anyone who feels that their public life is at odds with how they really feel inside. Baek Sehee transcribes the sessions with her psychiatrist as she uncovers the root causes of her anxiety and harmful behaviours, despite the perfect picture she presents to the world' Red
'Sehee is honest and authentic throughout ... [I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki] will resonate with young people who suffer from similar forms of depression and anxiety' Library Journal
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.