Keiko, the mother, has rejected Japanese food (language and other cultural connections) in an attempt to assimilate her family after the trauma of the wartime internment. And the stories she tells are either about Japanese myths or about her own experiences. And they strengthen this connection; they make a sense of home inside of her no matter where she is. By trying to hold onto her past she attempts to overcome the loneliness she experiences bound to the chair in a foreign country.
And finally, in Hiromi Goto's works, restaurants, grocery stores, and supermarkets also help to clarify issues of ethnic identity in the city or country landscape. In Chorus of Mushrooms, two scenes, one in a supermarket and one in a Japanese grocery store, help Murasaki to explore what it is to be Japanese-Canadian. In The Kappa Child, the protagonist is a collector of abandoned shopping carts; she meets the Kappa at a restaurant, and her eventual lover at a Korean market. The urban food locales thus become key moments in the exploration of female Japanese-Canadian identity that lies at the heart of the novel.
These comments offer only a quick and partial glimpse into the ways in which community and urban/rural physical and cultural spaces are opened up for discussion by the use of food motifs in these literary works. Ethnic identity in these settings can be seen to be tied not only to what is eaten, but where it is eaten; that is, how the food locale connects to communal social and cultural spaces and the complex issues found there.
On the other hand, Natalka Husar is someone very interesting. For Natalka Husar the engagement provokes ethnic anxiety (Fischer 1986), a prevailing condition of estrangement and conflict, as she struggles for recognitions and connections between the place of her parents' birth, as a memory of Ukraine that is not her own, and the place she now inhabits. Born in 1951 to parents who came to the United States in 1949 under the Displaced Persons' Act, Husar grew up in New Jersey before moving to Canada in 1973.
In the series, Black Sea Blue (1992-1995), the effect of returning to Ukraine with her mother for the first time since 1969 leads to uneasy, discomforts places in relation to the designation "home." In Torn Heart (1994) a portrait of her mother juxtaposed with a Ukrainian aunt is unsettling for, except for outlines (the noses are the same), the yellow crooked teeth and crude make-up of her aunt speak of impossible differences between the land of riches (America) and the land of poverty (Ukraine). Husar reminds us that we never see our own faces, one of the most compelling signs of who we are as subjects except as they are reflected in a mirror, photograph or painting, or as they are metaphorically projected in the responses other people have to us and we to them. From the disparities of identification, communication and inheritance, a tension arises, in that the face that reflects her mother's features should be, but is not, a meaningful part of Husar's self-understanding. Sentimental deers peering out from the landscape behind are reminiscent of mediocre animal paintings (e.g. Karl Blechen's Forest Ravine with Red Deer, 1828), parodying the experience of the romantic hoping to reconnect with primordial ties.
Referring specifically to the painting Pandora's Parcel to Ukraine (1993) Husar