Oh My Mother!: A Memoir in Nine Adventures (Hardcover)

Oh My Mother!: A Memoir in Nine Adventures By Connie Wang Cover Image
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“Humorous, endearing, and intimate.” —TIME

“Mother and daughter relationships are always tricky but this peripatetic pair has outdone all of us with this most excellent adventure written by my namesake, author Connie Wang.” —Connie Chung

A dazzling mother-daughter adventure around the world in pursuit of self-discovery, a family reckoning, and Asian American defiance

In Chinese, the closest expression to oh my god is wo de ma ya. It’s an interjection, a polite expletive, something to say when you’re out of words. Translated literally, it means oh my mother—the instinctual first person you think of when you’re on the cusp of losing it, or putting it all together.

In each essay of this hilarious, heartfelt, and pitch-perfectly honest memoir, journalist Connie Wang explores her complicated relationship to her stubborn and charismatic mother, Qing Li, through the “oh my god” moments in their travels together. From attending a Magic Mike strip show in Vegas to experimenting with edibles in Amsterdam to flip-flopping through Versailles, this iconic mother-daughter duo venture into the world to find their place in it, and sometimes rail against it—as well as against each other.

There are hijinks, capers, and adventures. There is also tenderness, growth, and discovery. In telling these stories about the places they’ve gone and the things they’ve done, Wang reveals another story: the true story of two women who finally learned that once we are comfortable with the feeling of not belonging—once we can reject the need to belong to any place, community, census, designation, or nation—we can experience something almost like freedom.

About the Author

Connie Wang is a journalist, writer, and editor. Previously she led Refinery29's editorial team as executive editor, where she explored how race and status inform our culture and politics. She has won three Front Page Awards and has written for outlets including the New York Times. A graduate of UC Berkeley, she was born in Jinan, China, raised in Minnesota, and lives in Los Angeles.

Praise For…

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One of Brit + Cos 20 Best Books Of 2023

Oh My Mother! is pure joy. . . . Alongside the funny stories about [Wang’s mother] Qing are Wang’s sharp cultural observations. . . . the book [is] as unique and charming as its mother-daughter pair.”
—The Washington Post

“Hilarious, candid, and heartfelt . . . It’s like Eat Pray Love meets The Amazing Race with hints of Cathy Park Hong’s hit essay collection, Minor Feelings.” 
—Oprah Daily

“A sort of road trip through a complex mother-daughter relationship in nine essays, journalist Connie Wang’s collection is electric with warmth, humor, and intellect, as so well-captured in the book’s title. A literal translation of the closest Chinese expression to ‘Oh my God,’ Oh My Mother! is poised to be a glowing debut.”

“Humorous, endearing, and intimate.”

“The stories that journalist and essayist Connie Wang weaves about her mother, Qing Li, are extremely funny . . . but they’re also full of love and empathy, making them the perfect thing to gift your mom (or get for yourself) this summer.”

“In journalist Connie Wang’s loving, candid debut memoir, she explores her relationship with her mother through nine sweet and funny essays—capturing the joys and complexities of big moments, like attending a Magic Mike strip show in Las Vegas or taking edibles in Amsterdam together, to the quiet, small ones.”

“Wang explores all the hilarious, wonderful, wild aspects of her relationship with her mother, Qing Li. . . . Wang tells the type of genuine and relatable stories that mother-daughter partners in crime will cherish.”

“This heartfelt, hilarious collection of essays from journalist Connie Wang explores the complexity of one of the most impactful relationships in anyone’s lifetime: mother and daughter.”
—W Magazine

“In some ways, this propelling memoir about a mother-daughter duo traveling around the world reads like a mash-up of Eat, Pray, Love and The Amazing Race, but the differences are delightful. . . . There’s also a deeper story here about the growth that comes from getting outside one’s comfort zone. Wang finds her relationship with her mom to be equal parts endearing and infuriating, as only familial ties can be. Their journey may motivate readers to see their own complicated-but-loving bonds in a new light.”
—The Atlantic

“Connie Wang’s memoir examines her relationship with her ‘stubborn and charismatic’ mother, as the pair go on an Eat, Pray, Love-style joyride around the world. From taking edibles in Amsterdam, to visiting ‘restaurants the size of department stores’ in Jinan China, to shuffling through Versailles to visiting a Magic Mike strip spectacular in Las Vegas, this mother-daughter duo are an irresistible pair.”

“Connie Wang’s memoir explores the funny, poignant, and unforgettable moments of a mother-daughter relationship—complete with edibles, trips to Vegas, Versailles, and more unexpected adventures. In other words, this is the perfect Mother’s Day read.”
—Zibby Owens for Katie Couric Media

“Journalist Connie Wang delves deep into her own relationship with her mother in what she calls the ‘oh my god’ moments in their travels. As they go from Vegas to Amsterdam to Versailles, the two of them explore feelings of not belonging, how the love between them swells during the most tense times, and the universal experience of getting to know your family members as people unto themselves.”
—Good Morning America

“Humorous and heartfelt.”

“The stories Wang shares will make you smile, and the adventures she goes on with her mom will give you wanderlust!”
—Brit + Co

“This memoir in essays explores journalist Connie Wang’s complex relationship with her mother through nine astonishing moments in their travels together.”

“In this heartfelt collection of essays, journalist Connie Wang reflects on the adventures she’s had traveling with her mother, Qing Li. . . . Through their adventures Wang also reveals the story of two women learning that once we’re comfortable with the feeling of not belonging, we can experience a kind of freedom.”

“Wang attempts to understand her one-of-a-kind mother, Qing Li, by recounting many of the warm, difficult, funny, complicated, and wholly memorable trips they’ve taken together over the years. With each poignant essay, Wang tells the story of a woman who is at once stubborn and enchanting, and definitely never fails to surprise. . . . By documenting their travels, the memoirist paints a picture of a mother-daughter bond defined by the freedom of not belonging.”

“Wang is a legend in the world of digital media. . . . Wang not only helped shape an entire generation of Internet content, but has for decades now been a foremost voice in fashion and culture reporting. But if you ask Wang, the real legend and ur-influencer is her mother, Qing Li. . . . In her debut book Oh My Mother!, Connie Wang writes a kind of memoir of her relationship with her mother through a collection of essays about seminal moments in their lives when their travels took them outside of their comfort zone.”
—The 19th News

“Conscientious and effervescent . . . [Wang’s] invigoratingly heartwarming book will have you appreciating and laughing at your own mother-daughter relationship.”

“Not only full of moments of joy and pride but also complicated by the immigrant experience and America’s exclusionist history. . . . Wang writes with the humor and authority that only a daughter of immigrant parents could have.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“I just flew through Connie Wang’s new memoir, Oh My Mother!, which chronicles Connie and her mother’s adventures, and the euphoric and disorienting realizations they have about their relationship and the world.”
—Joanna Goddard

“It takes a special kind of bravery to admit your mom is a whole human being whose life did not begin with yours. Never mind writing about that mom and then letting her read it! But Connie Wang is just that brave and more. Equally funny and heartbreaking, luminous and illuminating, Oh My Mother! is a family road trip I wish would never end.”
—John Hodgman

“Mother and daughter relationships are always tricky but this peripatetic pair has outdone all of us with this most excellent adventure written by my namesake, author Connie Wang.”
—Connie Chung

Oh My Mother! could well be Oh My! It’s really Connie Wang’s journey, with her mother along for the ride, as mentor, antagonist, and instigator of all sorts of adventures and insights. It’s as much a journal of travails as travels, but Wang, a sharp, unsparing journalist, finds and shares lessons at every stop.” 
—Ben Fong-Torres

“An empathetic, nuanced study . . . Wang drives to the heart of how a daughter comes to know her mother as someone with a life beyond motherhood. . . . A creative and entertaining shared memoir of identity, place, and [Wang and her mother’s] indelible connection to each other.”

“This charming joint memoir . . . is by turns hilarious and touching, and defined by Wang’s loving refusal to take her mother, and anything about her, for granted.”
Booklist (starred review)
Product Details
ISBN: 9780593490921
ISBN-10: 0593490924
Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: May 9th, 2023
Pages: 240
Language: English