• I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki

  • By: Baek Sehee
  • Narrated by: Jully Lee
  • Length: 3 hrs and 56 mins
  • 3.0 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Bloomsbury presents I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki by Baek Sehee, read by Jully Lee.

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.

©2018 Baek Sehee (P)2022 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

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  • S. L. P. Tang
  • 07-06-22

A very interesting insight into a young woman’s mind

This book is for those who ask themselves, ‘do others also feel that their mind is torturing them every second?’, or for those who want to understand how complicated one’s mind can be when one constantly needs external validation, and on top of it, is extremely empathetic. It is extremely insightful into a young woman’s mind, although of course, not everyone experiences the same challenges. I recognise the signs in many a young person I know, and the psychiatrist does help question certain beliefs. The reflections of the author show her pathway for her to become a better person (in her opinion), which are also useful for those struggling with finding their way in life.
This book showed me how blurry the lines could be between mental health and personality / character, and emotional needs. The challenge for us all is to have as good a mental health as you can have, within the constraints of your own personality, and managing those needs so that they are realistic.