University of New Brunswick
Many immigrant families experience intergenerational trauma resulting from migration, racism, and colonialism. This trauma can manifest as gaps—silences and shadow histories—in one’s family history and familial relationships. As a second-generation Chinese-Canadian, I examine and reconfigure these gaps using poetry focused on food. This creative research project pieces together food memories as a way to explore and discuss identity, race, and fractured relationships. As food is often discussed in the same breath as culture, history, and identity, this thesis uses food to unpack painful memories, histories, and realities. By writing and sharing poetry centered on food memories, both recollected and imagined, this thesis addresses the following questions: What has contributed to the fractures in my familial relationships? How is food an intrinsic part of my identity and family history? For what do I hunger? For what does my family hunger?