Comfort Food for Breakups: The Memoir of a Hungry Girl by Marusya Bociurkiw

By Marusya Bociurkiw

An elegiac memoir approximately foodstuff, kin, and the thorns of private heritage written through a Ukrainian Canadian lesbian, whose kin recipes attach intimate vignettes during which foodstuff nourishes, comforts, and heals the injuries of the prior, together with these of a father haunted by way of thoughts of time spent in a focus camp in the course of international struggle II. the writer, either at domestic and in her travels via North the United States and Europe, additionally reconciles her relatives lifestyles along with her queer id; nutrients turns into her salvation and how to interact with the area. considerate, sensual, and passionate, Comfort nutrients for Breakups muses at the ways that foodstuff intersects with a nexus of hungers: for intimacy, for relations, for home.

Marusya Bociurkiw is a filmmaker and the writer of 3 earlier books.

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She and Roxolana will often break into peals of laughter at some grammatical malapropism I’ve innocently uttered in my patchwork Ukrainian. Roxolana’s laughter is compassionate, but with Yaroslava, I sense a mocking undertone: the glint of metal, the sharpness of a steel trap. How silly we children of postwar refugees must appear to her: coming back, after all those years of simulacra, a copy with no original; returning to a homeland we have never seen, and about which we appear to have learned absolutely nothing.

An abundance of chopped sorrel is then added to the broth along with a paste of sour cream and flour and chopped dill. The soup is customarily served over half a hard-boiled egg. The experience of eating it—which I savoured for the first and only time in Yaroslava’s kitchen—is like inhaling a meadow in high summer: the feel of the earth, the aroma of green. It is late, but outside the people of Kyiv are emerging onto the street, to stroll, to take coffee, to drink vodka or sip wine. No matter how small the budget or the meal, their gatherings will be ceremonious, celebratory.

Olena kisses me goodbye with a matter-of-fact sadness, and hands me a blue plastic bag of freshly laid eggs. She stands in the road watching us leave, a matrushka doll getting smaller and smaller until it disappears. 51 POTATOES Anh told me that she and her sisters and her mother were always craving the food from home. They had arrived here as Chinese refugees, escaping persecution in Vietnam. They were one of the so-called “boat people” who came to Canada in great numbers in the 1970s. The Huas would walk along Spadina Avenue in Toronto, looking forlornly in all the windows of the Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants, wishing they were home.

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