How can a god-fearing Catholic, immigrant mother and her godless, bohemian daughter possibly find common ground? Food Was Her Country is the story of a mother, her queer daughter, and their tempestuous culinary relationship. From accounts of 1970s macrobiotic potlucks to a dangerous mother–daughter road trip in search of lunch, this book is funny, dark and tender in turn.


  • Runner-up, Lambda Literary Award, Memoir/Biography 2018


Food Was Her Country is a tenderly crafted story about complex relationships and histories. In it, lives come together across the dinner table, where meals—and more—are shared.”

—Mya Alexice, Foreword Reviews

“An absorbing reminiscence that’s sad and consistently regretful — and yet a delight to read — Bociurkiw’s companion volume to Comfort Food for Breakups, her 2007 memoir, meditates on and interweaves family, migration, rejection, history, and loss.”

—Brett Grubisic, The Toronto Star

“Sharp, tender and affecting, these stories of food and family—and politics and secrets and silence and speech and forgiveness and love—accrue into a powerful whole that left me sad, yearning and satisfied all at once. ”

—Anne Fleming, author of poemw.

"Emblematic of a specific Canadian generation: a child of immigrants finds feminism and lesbian life pulling her far from her family's expectations and demands. Yet, in this moving memoir, Marusya Bociurkiw reveals how both mother and daughter fought for a relationship on new terms, where both could retain their autonomy without controlling the other's life. The author's discoveries are illuminating for the reader, and articulate possibilities of understanding with individuation, rarely imagined or realized."

--Sarah Schulman, author of Conflict is Not Abuse

“It’s a joy to witness Bociurkiw’s funny, self-deprecating, deeply loving elegy for her mother, Vera. Her mother is her muse, and the memoir runs chronologically from her mother’s early homophobic distance to her fond old age. Bociurkiw’s crisp, buttery phrases are as delicious as the dishes that she inherits.”

—Elisha Lim, author of 100 Crushes

“An un-put-down-able memoir! Daughter Marusya and mother Vera carry food while traversing ‘spaces large as continents’ between them—to find love, grief and love again.”

—Cynthia Flood, author of What Can You Do