Eunice Hong

Eunice Hong is the director of the Leadership Initiative and a 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 JD from Columbia Law School after graduating from Phillips Academy Andover and Brown University. She resides in New York, New York.

All Books

Memento Mori

Eunice Hong

Publication Date: August 13, 2024

$17.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 978-1-63628-187-2


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.


“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 herfamily 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

“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

“Rage, grief, shame, and guilt wrapped up in one perfect Homeric simile for memory, trauma, and Asian-Americanness. Memento Mori was everything I wanted and more: a brilliant work of art that is just as insightful and darkly funny as it is beautiful.” 
—Maia Lee-Chin, author of Et Cetera: An Illustrated Guide to Latin Phrases