Food Was Her Country

In Food Was Her Country: The Memoir of a Queer Daughter, Marusya Bociurkiw takes readers on a captivating journey through her life, weaving together the threads of identity, family, and love with the powerful metaphor of food. The memoir is not just a culinary adventure but an exploration of self-discovery, acceptance, and the intricate dance between cultural heritage and personal evolution. 

Bociurkiw’s writing is a rich tapestry of emotions and experiences, drawing readers into her world with vivid prose and evocative storytelling. From the very first page, it’s clear that food is not merely sustenance for the author but a medium through which she navigates the complexities of her identity. The culinary landscape becomes a metaphorical map, guiding her through the terrain of her queer identity and the intersections of her Ukrainian heritage.

One of the strengths of the memoir is Bociurkiw’s ability to seamlessly blend the personal with the political. Through her own narrative, she provides a lens into the LGBTQ+ experience, offering poignant reflections on the challenges of navigating a world that often demands conformity. She eloquently captures the universal struggle of finding one’s place in a society that may not fully embrace or understand the diversity of identities.

The memoir also serves as a celebration of cultural heritage, with Ukrainian recipes and traditions acting as a backdrop to Bociurkiw’s exploration of self. Each dish becomes a vessel for memory and meaning, transporting readers to the heart of her family’s kitchen and the warmth of shared meals. The interplay between food and identity is beautifully nuanced, illustrating how cultural roots can both anchor and liberate an individual. One such recipe is the Wholewheat Poppyseed Bread found in our Recipe section. I grew up on variations of this bread and inspired me to make it again for my grandchildren. 

Light and Fluffy Multigrain Bread - Seasons and Suppers

Bociurkiw’s candidness about her journey as a queer person adds depth and authenticity to the narrative. The memoir tackles the complexities of coming out, the impact on familial relationships, and the broader societal shifts that have influenced the LGBTQ+ community. Her story is a testament to resilience and the power of embracing one’s true self, even when faced with societal expectations and norms. 

In this engaging memoir, Marusya Bociurkiw recounts her Ukraine-born mother’s struggle with larynx cancer. As the daughter navigates the challenges of feeding her mother, the narrative delves into a profound exploration of grief and reconciliation, ultimately revealing the complexities of their relationship only after the mother’s passing. Drawing from a queer archive of art, activism, and stories from her popular blog, Diaspora War Diary, Food Was Her Country offers a unique perspective on new beginnings and alternative ways of experiencing the world.

Diaspora War Diary composite image with Ukranian flag

Food Was Her Country is not just a memoir; it’s an invitation to reflect on our own relationships with identity, family, and the nourishment that sustains us, both physically and emotionally. Bociurkiw’s ability to blend the personal and the universal makes this memoir a compelling read for anyone interested in the intersections of identity, culture, and the human experience. Purchase a copy of the book at or go to our Giveaway section and win this compelling read. 

Marusya Bociurkiw’s Food Was Her Country is a literary feast that satisfies both the intellectual palate and the emotional hunger for connection and understanding. Through the prism of food and identity, Bociurkiw serves up a memoir that resonates long after the final page is turned—a testament to the enduring power of storytelling.

Caitlin Press gives Canadian Cookbooks explicit permission to publish the book cover, associated images, and a recipe from the book for Canadian Cookbooks and associated social and digital media.