Skip to product information
1 of 1

Red Hen Press

Memento Mori by Eunice Hong (Paperback) (PREORDER)

Memento Mori by Eunice Hong (Paperback) (PREORDER)

Regular price $17.95 USD
Regular price Sale price $17.95 USD
Sale Sold out

Fiction - Family Life - Siblings - Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology - World Literature - Asia - Feminist


Don’t look back.

Did Eurydice want to return from the underworld? Did anybody ask?

In this brilliant portrait of rage and resilience, a Korean woman tries to connect with her younger brother and grapple with family tragedy through bedtime stories that weave together Greek mythology, neuroscience, and tales from their grandmother’s slipping memory.

Recasting the myths of Eurydice, Orpheus, Persephone, and Hades through the lens of a Korean American family, Eunice Hong’s debut novel offers a moving and darkly funny exploration of grief, love, and the inescapability of death.


Eunice Hong is the director of the Davis Polk Leadership Initiative and lecturer in law at Columbia Law School. She was previously a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, and a law clerk to the Honorable Richard M. Berman in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Eunice received her undergraduate degree from Brown University and her JD from Columbia Law School. She resides in New York, New York.

"Memento Mori is an unexpected and thrilling story that features myth without being just a simple retelling. Eunice Hong reimagines the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice beautifully, deftly weaving it into a stunning narrative of one person's attempt to come to terms with memory, history and trauma, life and death. For all the book utilizes Eurydice to explore these themes, it's Hong's Persephone that stole all my attention." --Liv Albert, creator, host, and producer of Let's Talk About Myths, Baby! and author of the bestselling Greek Mythology: The Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes Handbook

"A beautifully written and impressively candid meditation on family secrets and the ties that bind, the slipperiness of memory and family lore, and resilience and endurance found in even the unlikeliest of circumstances." --Helen Wan, author of The Partner Track

"As the title of this exquisite work suggests, Memento Mori is a testament to the presence and power of death in life--here, specifically, in the life of a Korean American family with roots in North Korea. From the opening pages, I was stunned by the author's ferocious intellect and clarity. Though the text is fragmented and the narrator unnamed, each line holds the reader close, like a confidante, with the implicit promise that all will be revealed, that every piece of this sometimes baffling puzzle will matter and add up to a story that is devastating and whole. There will be grief and gallows humor. There will be knee-buckling trauma. There will be losses that leave this nameless narrator and her family forever scarred. But even as her oblique telling delivers on its grim promise, we realize that this clan, mostly through the tenacity of its women, is wired to endure. Whether the source of loss is war or a despotic regime, date rape or accidental brain damage, the aftermath will be both brutal and bonding. Once this 'less than perfect life' subsides, the survivors will carry on 'with sadness and relief.' And as the very structure of this book makes clear, memory will be their vehicle, missing pieces and all." --Aimee Liu, author of Glorious Boy

View full details