The Woman Who Loved Airports

Description

168 pages
$12.95
ISBN 0-88974-035-6
DDC C813'.54

Year

1994

Contributor

Reviewed by Janet Money

Janet Money, formerly the sports editor of the Woodstock Daily
Sentinel-Review, is a freelance writer and editor in London, Ontario.

Review

These short stories deal with aspects of the author’s own
history—Ukrainian heritage, cross-country travels, filmmaking, and
teaching—and it is easy to surmise that much of this work is
autobiographical. That is not a strike against it, by any means.

Bociurkiw generously provides an introductory list in answer to the
question “What is your book about?” Answer: lesbian identity,
cultural location, gaps between theory and activism, breakups, sex,
food. She writes “from the heart of difference.” True enough. These
pieces could be described as slices of a somewhat cosmopolitan Canadian
lesbian life. And that certainly is “difference” from the
mainstream.

Even within lesbian communities, any slices of any life may or may not
ring true. Here we have reflections on traveling the gay-and-lesbian
film-festival circuit in the title story, a brilliantly written
collection of airplane anecdotes, cocktail-party chatter, and
cross-country angst. There’s a bar story, “The Lesbian Ocean,” and
a separation story, “Cross-Country Breakup” among the collection;
like most of the stories, these two are deftly written but not
compelling.

“Mama, Donya” is the exception. This tale of blood family uses a
moving image of a stream with the narrator standing in it, blocking the
current, which is her ancestry. She feels trapped in the present, unable
to unblock the stream. This image makes an extraordinary piece from what
could otherwise have been an ordinary story about dealing with not being
“out” to one’s parents.

More and more our lesbian writers are exploring roots and aspirations
in original ways. This book is part of a happy trend in Canadian lesbian
literature away from saccharine romances and stock mysteries.

Citation

Bociurkiw, Marusya., “The Woman Who Loved Airports,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 15, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/6399.